Home Opener for the Okotoks Oilers this year was certainly a special night.
As our fans walked into the arena seating area on Friday September 20th, it was obvious to notice the wonderful new addition to our facility hanging over center ice ? a jumbotron.
The Jumbotron has been donated in its entirety to the Okotoks Oilers Hockey Club and the Town of Okotoks by the Chad Niehaus Family. We were fortunate to have Chad and his wife Stephanie, along with their three children Isabelle, Jeff, and Eve joined by Chad?s mother Pat and his brother Todd, here on Home Opener weekend for us to personally and publicly say THANK YOU.
On June 11, 1996, the Niehaus family suddenly and tragically lost their brother and son Jeff Niehaus. Jeff was an 18-year-old, fun-loving young man who loved life and all sports. He especially loved hockey which was evident by him being name the ?Most Improved Player? in 1995-96 by his coaches and peers ? an honor he received shortly before his sudden passing. Chad always wanted to do something permanent in memory of his brother Jeff but couldn?t decide on would be fitting, until he saw a jumbotron in another Alberta facility. There and then he decided that he wanted to have a jumbotron put up in a facility in Alberta as a memorial to Jeff.
The Niehaus Family are long time Oiler fans and close friends of Oilers Head Coach/GM Tyler Deis and his family. Chad strongly believes in the Oilers program and what it represents ? from integrity and character, to the commitment to education through hockey, many of which are the same principles Jeff aspired too. Lucky for us, the Pason Centennial Arena, and the Town of Okotoks, were in his mind as the perfect fit for what he wanted to do.
On behalf of the entire Okotoks Oilers Hockey Club, and the Town of Okotoks, we would like to thank the Niehaus family for this exciting and everlasting gift to the community and an amazing tribute to their brother/son/uncle Jeff Niehaus. From here forward we will refer to the new addition as the Jeffatron!