At the beginning of April, we reached out to you, asking for you to share your community goodwill stories from this past season. We wanted to give back for all the amazing work you're all doing in your communities. We have received some amazing stories and wanted to share them to give the people running these initiatives the recognition they deserve.
- Since 2009, Kevin McNamara has run a charity tournament called Ice Aid. It benefits Roger Neilson House, Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and Camp Misquah. In the eight years the event has been running, they have raised over $55,000. They get so much support from so many local companies, restaurants, golf courses, etc. who donate prizing for their Silent Auction where all of the money raised comes from each year.
- The Udder Tournament was started in memory of one of Caledon Women's Hockey League's founding members and local dairy farmer Donna deBoer. In 2016, the 5th year, they had 28 women's teams, participating in four divisions. Annually there are roughly 90 community, family and league volunteers. The support from their community is so moving, and it is why they keep putting the tournament on. Each year they raise money for scholarships for young female athletes and a local charity. The amount raised in 2016 for the scholarship & Bethell Hospice was $33,669.96!
- For the last four years, Michele Sparling and a group of people in her league have run an adult recreational hockey tournament in support of youth mental health, specifically a social-recreational peer-to-peer support program. The tournament, called Shine Out! Shout Out! not only helps us to raise funds, but allows them to use the day to create awareness around mental health by inviting community mental health agencies to set up displays, local politicians to be engaged, and the community to get involved. The day is filled with messaging about mental health from shout-outs in the dressing room to display boards, to a wall indicating who someone is playing for, or their thoughts around mental illness. Each year they recognize someone who is making a difference from among the teams with a special award. With the funds raised in 2013, they approached local mental health organizations to help in the creation of a peer-to-peer support group. Since named Just Be You, the group is for youth ages 15 to 22 with mental health issues and is a safe place without judgment or stigma where they can hang out for a few hours each week, have fun, make friends, and just be you(th). Each year they are overwhelmed by the generosity of the hockey community and their local community to support an idea that happened in a kitchen one night in 2013 among a group of hockey players who saw a need and a way to help.
- When the Hi-Tech Hockey League started back in 2001, they gave back by donating $4,500 to the service dogs. They continued that for a few years, but found that the cost of ice, referees and the sudden 7% hike with the introduction of HST really made that hard to continue. Four years ago, however, they decided to get back into the charitable contributions, holding 50/50 draws and toy drives over Christmas for toys for kids, and have been running these initiatives every since.
- The Greater Vancouver Oldtimers Hockey Association donated two sets of used goalie gear to a troubled teenager drop-in centre. They use it for street hockey!
- The South Calgary Recreational Hockey League was able to raise $1,830 for KidSport Calgary through a variety of initiatives centered around their annual 3-on-3 tournament!
- Don Stitt is taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge once again this year, with the goal of biking 500 kilometres throughout June to fight children's cancer. He claims his challenge will be tough, but nothing compared to what these kids are facing every day of their lives as they fight this terrible disease. If you wish to support Don on his journey, you can do so here.
We are going to be choosing a winner shortly, who will receive a $250 donation to the charity of their choice, as well as a CARHA Hockey prize pack!