• Nathan Woolridge

Crowdfunding sends Calgary Inferno volunteer to Clarkson Cup final

This article was previously published for the Calgary Journal.

Barely visible in the background, Calgary Inferno social media coordinator, Ramina Shlah looks on as the team celebrates their Clarkson Cup victory with singer, Shawn Hook. Photo by Laine Shuck

As the Calgary Inferno women’s hockey team prepared to fly east to clinch the Clarkson Cup in Toronto last weekend, the team’s volunteer social media manager, Ramina Shlah, was resigned to tweeting the game from home. There was simply no funding to support her trip.

Enter Hardev Lad, a reporter for the Toronto Marlies and a big fan of Shlah’s. “Ramina is an amazing person and the work she does on Twitter is valued by a lot of people on the platform,” says Lad. He set up a GoFundMe page and fans like Michael Davis, responded with dollars to support one of their favourite social media personalities. “The Inferno twitter feed has been one of the best damn things of this entire league. You should be there to enjoy the fun. Never feel bad for letting others help even if it seems ridiculous — which it isn't,” Davis posted on the fundraiser page.

Meanwhile, Shlah says even before the GoFundMe page was set up, she was receiving offers of help. “I honestly felt super awkward about it at first. I had a few people [direct message] me offering to send me money and I refused because I don’t like asking people for things,” says Shlah. “I had someone full-on offer to pay for my flight and I still refused.”

Lad says the minute he launched the page with a $750 goal to cover Shlah’s flight and hotel, the money flowed.

“She was too shy to share it, but I got all of her friends to spread the word and it grew organically from there.”

Shlah says she wasn’t sure anyone would donate at all.

“My friend told me it got to $50 and I was already shocked and then when it got to $150, I actually started crying,” she says.

To Shlah and Lad’s surprise, the page hit $1,330.

Shlah made the trip and captured firsthand the Inferno’s defeat of Les Canadiennes de Montreal 5-2.

“I’m so thankful and grateful for everyone who donated. Especially, since the Inferno won and our posts got a lot of views. I’m really glad I was able to be there for it and I’m so happy I was able to document their win,” says Shlah.

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