Last Tuesday it was “game on” for Hockey de Rue 2021 at NDG’s Doug Harvey Arena as 17 teams from Royal Vale school took part in the fundraising event. The funds raised from the event go to benefit vulnerable children from low income neighbourhoods by helping to provide a place to connect, stay active and healthy. “COVID has made it incredibly hard for kids,” Ryan Frank, Director Fundraising, Partnerships and Events, Club de hockey Canadien said. “For kids to be living through COVID the effects it has had on their lives sitting in classrooms, sitting through Zoom calls. To have this event for them has been lots of fun for them to look forward to.”
The event was organized by the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA and the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation and marked the return of Hockey de Rue following the cancellation last spring due to COVID-19. “There’s a safe event going on in the Doug Harvey because of their efforts coming up with an imaginative way to have this event despite what we are all going through,” Howard Wiseman, Hockey De Rue Co-Chair President & COO, Econo-Malls said. “This COVID experience has been a nightmare for everybody. Last year we had to cancel the event unfortunately and this year we are trying to make up for it, so yes we are super pleased.”
The event was co-chaired by Howie Wiseman, in his fifth year in that capacity and Philippe Charbonneau in his first year with Hockey de Rue plus Honourary Chair Robert Oringer, who has been with the event from its inception 10 years ago.
For Charbonneau, it was great to get to enjoy his first Hockey de Rue experience. “I’m really pleased that I’ve been introduced to the event,” Philippe Charbonneau, Hockey De Rue Co-Chair President, Norexco Group said. “Really pleased that my first event is taking place, I thought that my first year would have no event but it’s happening and I’m pleased about that.”
Over the 10 year history of the event which usually takes over Westbury with five rinks and adult divisions as well as the youth teams $2,200,000 has been raised. During the usual event some $300,000 are raised so it is amazing to see that $180,000 has been raised at Hockey de Rue 2021 and organizers are confident the $200,000 bar will be reached. “We can’t thank our sponsors enough,” Jeff Bicher Chief Development and Organizational Culture Officer, Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA said. “Every single sponsor stepped up regardless of what the event was going to look like this year. Their dollars are really going to help kids stay active. This is a great community program for all of Quebec.”
The seeds for this version of Hockey de Rue were planted back in February when it became apparent that the usual program would not be happening. “We gathered in January and still wanted to do it,” Robert Oringer, Hockey De Rue Honourary Chair, Chairman, Locemia Co-Chairman, AMG Medical said. “We reconvened in February and said maybe we could do something different. Given that the kids were in school we thought we could do something with that. After all the event is ultimately for the kids.”
To help Hockey de Rue 2021crack the $200,000 barrier go to www.imakeanonlinedonation.org/fondationcanadiens/HDR2021/ to make a donation.