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Hockey Helps the Homeless

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Hockey Helps the Homeless is a volunteer-driven charitable organization that hosts hockey tournaments in various cities across Canada, with proceeds being donated towards various charities. The organization also works with numerous outreach organizations, with the goal education, fundraising and partnering. Former NHL legend Mike Gartner is the honorary chairman.


The organization was established in 1996, and was called Hockey for the Homeless. The idea was conceived by a group of Toronto businessmen who decided to turn an annual industry hockey tournament into a charitable event. Throughout the years, the tournament has received media exposure from numerous outlets, including Hockey Night in Canada. On September 19, 2011, the organization changed its named from Hockey for the Homeless to Hockey Helps the Homeless. The reason for the name change was to ensure clarity in its purpose. With the use of hockey, the charity aims to bring awareness to and support for the homeless problem throughout Canada. To date, Hockey Helps the Homeless has raised over $3.5 million in donations for homeless agencies, shelters and transition initiatives throughout numerous Canadian cities.[1]

Hockey Helps the Homeless Cup Edit

During the 2011-12 season, a program was conceived that paired the regular season of high school aged hockey players (in a participating division or league) with an online fundraising event. Teams from a division or league that get involved wear a Hockey Helps the Homeless patch on their jerseys. Points are determined through the outcome of games, and the money that each team raises online is also factored in the points. At season’s end, the two teams with the highest points play a neutral site game for the honor of winning the Hockey Helps the Homeless Cup.

Tournament structureEdit

The organization hosts fantasy tournaments, in which registered participants have at least two NHL alumni (men’s) or CWHL alumni (women’s) on their teams. Events are held during the months of November to February. Cities have included Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Niagara Region and Ottawa. In November 2011, Hockey Helps the Homeless featured its first women's hockey tournament. The event was hosted in the Greater Toronto Area at the Magna Centre in Newmarket, Ontario. Said tournament involved numerous players from the Burlington Barracudas of the CWHL. Another women’s tournament was hosted in Ottawa in April 2012 and featured players from the Montreal Stars and the McGill Martlets. A typical event involves the single-day hockey tournament, reception dinner and silent auction. Registered players pay a fee to participate, and with corporate sponsorship, funds raised help support charities for the homeless in the host city.

Host citiesEdit


Bell Sensplex in Kanata, Ontario hosted the second annual tournament in April 2011. The 2011 edition featured the first women’s tournament in Ottawa. Players such as Julie Chu, Lisa-Marie Breton, Alyssa Cecere, Marie-Philip Poulin, Gillian Ferrari, Caroline Ouellette and Catherine Ward participated. McGill Martlets alumni Ann-Sophie Bettez and Alyssa Cecere also played in the event. In one of the tournament contests, Catherine Ward was the goaltender. The women's tournament was won by the Ottawa Mission. Ottawa Senators alumni Laurie Boschman and Brad Marsh participated in the men's tournament, along with Rick Smith, a member of the Boston Bruins 1972 Stanley Cup team. Former Toronto Maple Leafs alumni Dan Daoust, Tom Fergus and Mark Osborne also participated.


HockeyHelpstheHomeless Toronto2011

November 18: Magna Centre, Newmarket, Ontario. (Left to right) Kris King Christina Kessler, Amanda Shaw, Executive director Gary Scullion, and Mark Osborne.

On November 18, 2011, Vancouver Winter Games participant Anniina Rajahuhta was one of several Burlington Barracudas players (including Christina Kessler, Shannon Moulson, Ashley Stephenson, Jana Harrigan, Amanda Shaw, Samantha Shirley, Amanda Parkins, and Lindsay Vine) who competed in the first ever Hockey Helps The Homeless Women's Tournament. Said tournament was held at the Magna Centre in Newmarket, Ontario.[2]


UBC Thunderbird Arena hosted the third annual tournament on Friday, November 25, 2011. Vancouver Canucks alumni including Greg Adams, Garth Butcher, Mark Lofthouse, Gary Nylund, Moe Lemay and Larry Melnyk participated. In Vancouver, the tournament raised funds for RainCity Housing and Support Society, along with Lookout Society. Since its inception, the Vancouver tournament has raised $165,000. David Fine is a founding committee member of the Vancouver branch.[3]

Board of DirectorsEdit

For the 2011-12 season, the Board of Directors were as follows:

  • Ewan French
  • John Patrick Kelly
  • Dante Tamburo
  • Mark Kocaurek
  • Pat Nixon
  • Ted Jarvis
  • Gianni Crivello
  • Richard Lee[4]


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