After a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, the Calgary Flames have not only undertaken their own fundraising incentives for the tragedy but have also joined forces with YYC4Haiti, a massive Calgary Tweetup aimed at raising funds for the country.
YYC4Haiti will take place on Jan. 28 at Flames Central during the Flames-Coyotes PPV game. The Canadian Red Cross will on hand to collect all funds raised by a silent auction and raffle.
All four major Calgary sports teams - the Flames, Stampeders, Hitmen and Roughnecks - have thrown their support behind YYC4Haiti. Ticket packages, autographed jerseys and various team memorabilia have been donated and CalgaryFlames.com staff will be working the game live from the event, handing out Flames prize packs throughout night via Twitter.
"All of us here at the site are extremely happy to be able to support this wonderful event in any way we can," said CalgaryFlames.com's Torie Peterson. "We encourage all Flames fans to come out and enjoy a great night of hockey while helping raise funds for this terrific cause. We'll be handing out prize packs throughout the night to fans who follow our Twitter feed while attending YYC4Haiti."
The Flames Better Halves will be on hand that night as well.
The initial idea for the event was born from a single Tweet from Camilla Di Giuseppe of CTV Calgary, expressing the helplessness she felt and the desire to create a fundraiser to aid humanitarian efforts. Former Calgary Sun sports writer Angela MacIsaac and Alex Ruiz of Calix Media & Flames TV jumped on board and YYC4Haiti was created.
"All three of us watched and read the news feeds on the devastation in Haiti and it tore our hearts out," Di Giuseppe said. "We all knew we had to act somehow and we came together over the social-media platform, Twitter, which we are using as our primary tool in engaging the Calgary community."
News about the event spread through Twitter and the trio were inundated with donations and support from not only the local community but individuals and businesses throughout North America. As of Jan. 22, the event has over 35 silent auction items, numerous raffle prizes and a Kelowna vacation package worth over $15,000 as it's grand prize.
"The donations have been rolling in fast and furious," MacIsaac said. "Businesses and individuals are sending us their donations from as far away as Ottawa and the United States. We received a Tweet from Canadian rock legend Ra MaGuire of Trooper who is coordinating a prize on behalf of the band."
Ruiz is overwhelmed not only by the donations but the overall support the city has thrown behind YYC4Haiti.
"These social-media tools have given us an amazing ability to connect with people, not only to get them interested in attending the event, but also in volunteering their time and donating to the cause," she said. "We are so excited to see everyone out at Flames Central and we are thrilled with the support we have received to date."
For more information, please visit the official website at http://yyc4haiti.com or follow @yyc4haiti on Twitter.