Over the holidays, hockey teams from coast to coast to coast did what hockey teams do best. They led and rallied around important initiatives to give back and make meaningful differences in their communities, representing the true spirit of the season. Selflessness and creativity prove to be at the core of the hockey community, and Hockey Canada is proud to highlight several stories from across the country.
“These stories show the power of individual athletes who come together as a team and realize the value and impact they can have to do good away from the rink,” says Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “People play hockey for a love of the game and they help others because they care. There may not be a more powerful combination of feelings than to love and care.”
Tri Cities Female Ice Hockey Association U11 C2 team came up with the idea to host a skate-a-thon this year, quickly rallying 10 other teams as challengers and raising over $25,000 for a local non-profit charity. Great work, team!
READ FULL STORY at bchockey.net
Local teams in Alberta wouldn’t let the many obstacles of 2020 hold them back. Holiday hampers, bottle drive fundraisers, food donations and stockings for seniors were just a few of the many ways Alberta’s players gave back during the holiday season.
FULL STORY at Hockey Gives Back Across Alberta.
Hockey New Brunswick
Four teams from the Oromocto Minor Hockey Association banded together to make a donation to the Oromocto Public Hospital. The U15 Fury, Havoc and Rockets, and U13 Thunder joined forces with some generous friends of the local hockey association to help make Christmas a little brighter for both patients and staff.
Forty-seven individual gift bags for patients and six baskets overflowing with luxury items for the units were collected and donated. Although the kids didn’t get to visit the patients as a group like in the past, they all had a hand in contributing towards this wonderful gesture.
Ontario Hockey Federation
The Humber Valley Sharks and North Toronto entered a friendly competition to see who could raise the most money for local food banks. Over $25,000 was raised for the Daily Bread Food Bank and food banks across the Greater Toronto Area.
The U11 Toronto Eagles are walking across Canada in a virtual step-count contest to raise money for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
COVID-19 didn’t stop the Sarnia Legionnaires Hockey Club from holding its annual Penny Lilley Memorial Wooly Toss. The Wooly Toss is held during the first home game each December and sees fans toss winter wear onto the ice after the first Legionnaires goal is scored.
At this year’s event – led by Legionnaires director Terry Lilley and his daughter Brooke – fans donated over 1,300 hats, mittens and scarves that were collected for various local charities for pre-Christmas distribution. In addition, $1,500 was raised and used to purchase gift cards for those in need.
Members of the Komoka Kings helped brighten the day of Johnny Hall, a fan battling leukemia, by bringing the youngster some of his favourite things – hockey, fire trucks and the Grinch. The team also volunteered at the Komoka Foodland food and toy donation event.
The Fort Erie Meteors decided to purchase one gift per player to give to a family in need. The players enjoyed the experience of being involved in the community and had fun wrapping the presents themselves.
Helping Hands - EMC Gives Back
The Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs kept busy over the holiday season. The local hockey association has a mentorship program in place that paired the U14 and U18 teams. In a typical year, to bond and build camaraderie, the teams would hold a few practices together, cheer each other on at games and do some community service together.
This season has been different for so many reasons. The teams haven’t been able to practice together, let alone play games with spectators, but the Chiefs still felt they wanted to do what they could to give back to their community.
The U14 and U18 teams reached out to a local church and each sponsored four families in need. The teams purchased gifts for the children (toys, books, toiletries, gift cards to the mall) and grocery gift cards for each family. Each item on the list provided by the church was fulfilled. Each gift was wrapped and delivered.
Hockey Nova Scotia
Despite the fundraising challenges posed by the pandemic, teams from the Glace Bay Minor Hockey Association found a way to brighten the holidays of families in Cape Breton by donating $1,400 to the Christmas Crew, a group that provides hundreds of grocery orders to needy families. Teams from the association also helped out their local food bank by donating several bags of non-perishable goods and other necessities.
During the holiday season, teams from the Dartmouth Minor Hockey Association stepped up to make significant contributions to groups like Feeding Others of Dartmouth Society’s Margaret’s House, a charitable organization that provides thousands of free meals each month to adults. Other teams from the association joined the Metro East Inferno Female Hockey Association and the Cole Harbour Wolfpack (Major U18) to collect gifts for families.
Pier-Alexandre Poulin, head coach of the Condors du Cégep Beauce-Appalaches, organized a team building activity for hockey and football players of the Condors’ school-based organization. He reached out to Moisson Beauce, a regional food bank in the Beauce region in Quebec. Players had the opportunity to prepare food baskets before Christmas and were made aware of Moisson’s various community activities. Players enjoyed giving back and have decided it’s something they would like to continue each year.
Condors' Give Back (en français)
The Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Knights gave back to the community in many ways over the holidays: donating food to the food bank, collecting clothing donations, making coffee deliveries, collecting firewood, baking cookies and so much more. Watch their video and feel inspired by their kindness.
Congratulations and thank you to these hockey teams and more who gave back this holiday season. Your positive impacts in your communities have inspired us all to make a difference.