One of the people who played an instrumental role in the fundraising for Affinity Place in Estevan, as well as other aspects of the community, has died.
Ron Areshenkoff died Sunday in Grand Forks, B.C., after a lengthy illness. He was 62.
Areshenkoff made a name for himself in hockey long before moving to Estevan. He was selected in the second round of the 1977 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, and played four games for the Edmonton Oilers in their first season in the NHL in 1979-80.
Areshenkoff moved to Estevan in the late 1990s to work selling mutual funds and life insurance, and immediately became a big part of the community. He was involved in numerous causes, becoming a president of the Rotary Club of Estevan and the Estevan Chamber of Commerce, and was part of the executive for such organizations as the Estevan Bruins.
While with the Bruins, he took an active role in the planning of the Bruins Sportsman’s Dinner, helping bring such guests as Ken Holland and Scotty Bowman in 2003 and Brian Burke in 2005.
When planning started for Estevan’s new arena in 2006, Areshenkoff became the chairman of the new arena fundraising dinners. The five dinners that ran from 2007 to 2011 generated an estimated $1 million towards the construction of the events centre that would become Affinity Place.
Those dinners brought Burke to Estevan twice, as well as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, broadcaster Michael Landsberg, retired NHL linesman Ray Scapinello, Hollland and hockey legend Steve Yzerman. Yzerman was in Estevan 12 days after the gold medal game of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; he was the GM of Team Canada that won gold.
During the last dinner in 2011, Areshenkoff was twice given a standing ovation by the audience in recognition of his efforts to lead the committee.
Areshenkoff was also part of the steering committee for the 2016 Western Canada Cup hockey tournament in Estevan, playing a key role in the financial success of a tournament that turned a profit for the first time.
And in recent years, he was part of the committee that helped bring the Estevan Bears midget AAA hockey team a reality for the 2020-21 season.
Most of his time in Estevan was spent working for Spectra Financial.
Areshenkoff is survived by his wife Becky and their children Corson and Landyce.
A funeral service will be held in Grand Forks, B.C., on Dec. 21.