For the past sixteen years, the spring football season has begun with a celebrated tradition—the Huskies Football Foundation Dogs’ Breakfast. This year’s event was another rousing success with approximately $65,000 raised to fund scholarships for Huskie football players.
The Dogs’ Breakfast event is the largest fundraiser for the Huskies Football Foundation. Through the years, it has created over 400 scholarships for student-athletes. The foundation was established in 2001 with the imperative to aid Huskie football players with funding for scholarships. Since the foundation’s inception, it has raised over $1.4 million. This year’s event, Dogs’ Breakfast XVI, took place at Prairieland Park on May 5, 2016, attracting over 1,600 attendees.
Third-year quarterback Kyle Siemens expressed his gratitude to all supporters of Huskie football. “This event raises funds for scholarships for student-athletes, many of whom would not be able to participate in university football without the opportunity these scholarships provide,” he said. “This breakfast makes us realize that being a Huskie is an honour and a privilege.”
“The leadership of the team and Huskie Athletics enables, encourages and appreciates community engagement and pride,” said Todd Peterson, donor to Huskie football and Huskies Football Foundation Committee member. “In addition to an elite student-athlete experience, this delivers a very proud tradition, and excitement for our university, our city, and our province.”
Huskies Head Coach Brian Towriss (BComm’78) acknowledges that donations not only support students in their academic pursuits, but is also integral to attracting top high school talent to commit to the Huskies program. “The scholarship funds raised at the Dogs’ Breakfast are the lifeline of our football program,” he said. “Without the amazing support of the community, we would not be a competitive football team.”
Ron (BEd’62) and Jane Graham (BEd’62) received a special honour this year, receiving the Huskie Ambassador Award. Ron and Jane have a long tradition of improving the student-athlete experience, through scholarships, awards, and backing the construction, and the subsequent expansion, of the Graham Huskie Clubhouse. “The Graham’s contribution to the facilities at the stadium, both for the general public and our football team, are exceeding what we could expect from any two individuals,” said Towriss.
Naturally, the morning would not be complete without some football talk. In past years, NFL and CFL greats have been guest speakers at the Dogs’ Breakfast. This year’s event boasted an impressive lineup of speakers, including Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager and Head Coach Chris Jones; Roughriders great Kerry Joseph; and Rod Smith, Jock Climie, and Duane Forde of the CFL on TSN. Dogs’ Breakfast XVI was hosted by CFL on TSN analyst Glen Suitor, who is also a Huskie Football donor.
Suitor recently established the Suitor Team First Award in Huskie Football, which was awarded to fourth-year defensive back Lance Bashutsky this year. The award, which was handed out for the first time at Dogs’ Breakfast XVI, recognizes leadership with Huskie Football and a demonstrated commitment to putting teammates first, on and off the field.
Suitor acknowledges that his view of the donor to student-athlete relationship has changed since he was a student-athlete, himself. “As a player, I was a little naïve about how [events like Dogs’ Breakfast] come together. I didn’t recognize it enough until later in life. That’s why I don’t think it’s ever too late to get involved and support it. That’s why I’m doing that now.”
If you would like to make a donation to the Huskies Football Foundation or to set up a gift for Huskies Athletics, please contact:
Director Development & Marketing, Huskie Athletics
University of Saskatchewan