A memorial fund created for the late Joey Moss — a longtime locker-room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers and the EE Football Team — got a huge boost toward its work helping people with disabilities after a record-setting 50/50 raffle raised nearly $1 million.
“It was incredible,” said Sue Gilchrist, chief executive officer of the Winnifred Stewart Association, which will receive half of the $991,800 raised by the raffle upon closing Sunday.
“We thought we might break a record, which we did yesterday which is just absolutely phenomenal. But it’s really inspiring when you actually see it happening,” Gilchrist told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM on Monday.
The amount breaks a record set by the team during a July 2017 game against the Ottawa Redblacks where $871,839 was raised.
The winning recipient of the 50/50 will take home half of the pot, $495,900. The rest, said Gilchrist, will go toward the association’s efforts to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“Joey was so blessed with opportunities that he had and was really able to showcase his abilities to the rest of the world,” she said.
“He changed people’s view on the difference that can be made by employing someone with disabilities.”
Moss, who had Down syndrome, died at 57 in October.
Moss first became an attendant with the Oilers in 1984 before joining the Edmonton Football Team two years later, holding both positions for over 30 years.
Moss became a favourite in Edmonton among fans and players.
He was later given a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions and achievements in 2012 and was later inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
The Winnifred Stewart Association got its start 67 years ago as a school, which Moss attended. In the 1980s, the association transitioned into its current role providing adult support services for jobs and housing, Gilchrist said.
Since Moss’s death, there have been many ideas bandied about to create a memorial to honour him, Gilchrist said.
“Seeing a statue or a building would be unbelievable. But I think for us, it’s more about not forgetting what Joey has done for our community,” she said.
“Regardless of what ends up getting settled on, I think it’s really important that we don’t lose that story of Joey, and that 10, 15, 20 years down the road, when people see whatever it is that’s put up to honour him, they really remember his legacy and the difference that he made with his life.”