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Kelowna  

NHLer lends school support

A fundraising campaign to rebuild and renovate St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School has received a shot in the arm from some well known alumnus.

These include current Buffalo Sabres' defenceman Josh Gorges.

The campaign, called the Masterpiece Campaign, is attempting to raise $4.8 million for the project.

To date, nearly $3 million of that total has been raised including close to $950,000 from private donors.

Construction is expected to begin following the current school year and be complete in time for students' return in September.

MacKenzie and St. Joseph's halls will both be demolished. Doyle Hall will undergo a complete overhaul with a new building set to be constructed next to Doyle Hall where a playground currently sits.

Several alumni of St. Joseph Elementary provided Masterpiece Stories while a video, featuring Gorges, was also produced.

"You look at the things that got you where you are today, it was because of the people before us who stepped up and helped out," said Gorges.

"In school and in hockey, people didn’t have to, but they chose to be leaders, to help. I couldn’t be grateful enough. My grandfather taught that you couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and say you were part of the community. You have a responsibility to give back.”

Gorges, himself a new father, said he sees the Masterpiece Campaign as an opportunity to be something bigger than just himself.

He said it's a chance to “help not just one person but a whole community of people grow and be the leaders of our community for years to come."

Gorges, who captained the Rockets to their lone Memorial Cup title in 2004, still spends his off season in Kelowna.

The goal of the campaign is to raise the funds necessary in order to complete the project mortgage free.

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