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'Our greatest resource is our children.' Charity Classic raises funds for youth ranch

"You know the saying: it takes a village to raise a child. It takes all of us. Our greatest resource in this province is not agriculture, oil and coal. It's our children. When one of their lives is transformed, they will transform generations," Todd Moroz of Broken Arrow Youth Ranch

ESTEVAN — The 10th annual Charity Classic, held in Estevan on April 6, attracted many guests in an effort to raise funds for the Broken Arrow Youth Ranch, which helps young people find solid ground in life.

"You know the saying: it takes a village to raise a child. It takes all of us. Our greatest resource in this province is not agriculture, oil and coal. It's our children," said Todd Moroz during the event to the applause of the guests. "When one of their lives is transformed, they will transform generations."

Broken Arrow is a project of former Estevan resident Todd Moroz and his wife Lara. Located in the Wood Mountain area of south-central Saskatchewan, the ranch is a home for children and teens under the age of 18 for at least a year. Participants learn and experience life on a fully-functioning and working ranch with faith-based values.

"They're kids that are just struggling with a lot of things. And at the ranch things are simpler. There's no peer pressure. And life just slows down a little and they can focus on doing some healing for themselves," Lara explained.

Three of the four current ranch students participated in the event.

The fundraising luncheon was hosted in the leisure centre's multi-purpose room. New for this year was a fashion show, in which ranch residents and supporters showed off outfits donated by different businesses and individuals. The attire was then auctioned off.

Lara said the event went well, attracting many people and helping raise awareness and funds for the ministry.

"I thought it was good. It sounds like people enjoyed their time. I think they would be encouraged to know that each person can make a difference in somebody's life. We don't want to ever give up on people," Lara said after the event.

Carson Shields, president and co-founder of the Wingman Hockey Group, was the guest speaker. In his inspiring speech, he talked about his dark path, filled with drugs, alcohol and anger challenges he faced in his younger years in hockey, and the ways he overcame those issues, spreading a message of hope.

"We believe that once we discover, once our students can discover who we are, then we can begin to discover who we are, and the incredible potential to make a difference in this world. And this is one young man who's done that," said Todd, introducing Shields.

Shields shared how in his struggles he quit hockey and found himself living a life he wasn't proud of. An arrest after a bar fight became the new beginning for him.

"I started to see how I can be of service, and I started to try and peel back the layers I'll never forget," Shields shared.

He went through anger management and Alcoholics Anonymous, and started going to church, all of which gave him the strength to turn the page.

"Whether it be through Alcoholics Anonymous, or going to church and getting back in touch with my faith, I was able to find my higher power, I was able to surrender it, I was able to surrender the fact that a) I couldn't drink … and then just really start to peel back the layers. And by the grace of God, I was able to stay sober," Shields shared.

"There were bumps along the road, and relapses for sure. But I was able to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. The other big thing too was that I was able to reconnect with hockey, start coaching, start helping out and I was granted a conditional discharge, so that meant that I didn't have any criminal record, which is huge."

Shields said he chose the light after all, thanks to people who chose to believe in him and support him when he still was in the dark. He also cheered the crowd for supporting Broken Arrow and the work they do for young people.

Todd and Lara were in Estevan as part of the Estevan Strippers' Molson Spring Bust recreation hockey tournament with a medley of players from all over the province playing under the name of the Broken Arrow Bruins.

Lara noted that things at the ranch were going well.

"We are very thankful that we have great ranch parents, they are at home with one student. And we're calving right now. And things are going well," she said.

Broken Arrow Youth Ranch is also home to cats, dogs, a llama, sheep, cattle, chickens, horses and pot-bellied pigs.

The ranch also held a fundraiser involving one of its animals, Willy the Goat. People could purchase tickets for Willy and put their name down on the ticket, or they could jot down the name of someone they know. The winner had an option to either keep the goat or donate it back to the ranch.

While the fundraising efforts weren't over, Lara said she believes it will be a successful event for them.

For more information and to support the ministry, people can go to their website at

"People are welcome to check out our website. We're always looking for more support, and also to be aware of us if they know somebody who does need us and our services," Lara said.