Autumn, to many, signifies back to school, the changing colour of the leaves and the return of hockey season at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. It also marks the return of the annual Hockey Helps the Homeless K-W tournament. For the fourth year, volunteers are coming together to put on this spectacular event that raises funds for five local agencies that deal with homeless men, women, children, and families.
Over the past three years, Hockey Helps the Homeless has raised $356,000 for local agencies which include the House of Friendship, YWCA K-W, Lutherwood, oneROOF Youth Services, and HHUG (Homelessness and Housing Umbrella Group). Money raised in 2016 was enough to support 2,225 shelter bed nights in our region last year.
Lynn Macaulay from HHUG explains what the tournament is accomplishing in our region.
“Hockey Helps the Homeless gives businesses, participants, volunteers and even hockey pros the chance to come together and help local communities end homelessness,” Macaulay said. “The survivors who generously share their story at the event put a face to an issue that is too often in the shadows. By shining a light on positive change, we know that the brutal reality of homelessness is something we can end together.”
For those who aren’t familiar with the initiative, Hockey Helps the Homeless is a national charity that holds annual tournaments in eleven cities across the country, as well as a number of universities. Proudly presented by Freedom 55, the one day pro-am hockey tournament sees participants share the rink with former NHL players and women’s team Olympic gold medalists. Participants fund-raise up until the day of the tournament and receive a full pro experience.
The 2017 tournament takes place Friday, October 27th at RIM Park from 8am – 5pm. The general public can watch games for free, browse and bid in our massive silent auction, and maybe even meet some of the former pros.
The Rangers have sponsored and supported the event since it first came to Kitchener-Waterloo in 2014. The continued assistance of Rangers Nation is invaluable in helping raise awareness around homelessness in our region, as well as raising funds for those in need.
Participants, volunteers and donors are all welcomed to help this great cause. More information can be found at the Hockey Helps the Homeless website: www.hockeyhelpsthehomeless.com/kw or by following the tournament on social media on Facebook: @HHTHKW and Twitter: @HHTHKW.
This Friday, October 6th is also Hockey Helps the Homeless’ game night at The Aud as the Rangers take on the visiting Erie Otters at 7:30pm. You can find out more information on the tournament throughout the evening via the video board or by visiting the Community Corner.