Scotty Gomez Foundation pitches in to save Brown Bears

The effort to save the Kenai River Brown Bears got an assist from somebody who had 575 of them throughout his NHL career — Scott Gomez.

Gomez and the Scotty Gomez Foundation donated $2,000 on Wednesday to the effort to save the team. According to the Facebook page of the Brown Bears, the donation comes with a challenge for people to meet or beat that amount.

The Bears originally announced Feb. 27 that they would deactivate next season because of financial difficulties. But Steve Stuber stepped forward to lead a fundraising drive to save the team.

The effort has to raise $300,000 by Saturday. Stuber said Wednesday night that the drive is now just past $240,000. Stuber said he is hopeful that getting a high-profile name like Scott Gomez behind the cause will help to push the effort over the finish line.

“The big thing is that now that we’re almost at $250,000, the $50s and $100s will add up fast,” Stuber said.

Those wishing to donate can contact Stuber at 953-4880 or his wife, Lea, at 283-4900. Donors can also stop by the Bears Den at the K-Beach Short Stop or at The Shipping Zone in Kenai.

There also is a drive on gofundme.com. The goal of the drive is $175,000, but as of Wednesday night $4,905 had been raised. The goal does not have to be reached for gofundme.com donors to have to give the money. If the Bears do not participate in the 2017-18 season, the gofundme.com money will be given by the Kenai Peninsula Youth Foundation to local charities.

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