CALGARY, AB -- Captain Mark Giordano continues to lead the Calgary Flames on the ice.
He's continuing to set the example off it, too.
Giordano and his wife Lauren visited two schools last week in their Team Giordano initiative, which, in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education and Pizza 73, provides resources for four low-income Calgary schools to assist in meeting student needs and support personal student development.
"It was something we started a few years ago," Giordano said. "I really didn't know what it was going to turn into. I think for Lauren and I, the main thing is the kids and the way they've received it. The programs are being well-used. We're happy to do it and happy to get out there and have some fun too when we go to those schools."
The funding supports the purchase of new computers, floor hockey equipment and school supplies.
The program, funded by the Giordano's, the Calgary Flames Foundation, Pizza 73 and the Italian Open Charity Golf Tournament that the captain chairs every summer, has donated $200,000 to its four schools, impacting the lives of 1,400 students.
"It's pretty cool, pretty neat experience, going to see the kids," Giordano said. "We've wanted to do something with the schools. We never thought it would grow into what it is today. Hopefully it keeps growing."
Team Giordano also provides each child with a journal and a program that provides student mentorship opportunities developed and supported by Giordano and his wife. As a way to help students create, set and achieve their goals, every student in each Team Giordano school is encouraged and provided support to complete the 'Gio Journal.' The journal described the five G's Giordano believes are keys to success.
The program aims to encourage and promote improved physical fitness and academics, healthy lifestyles, leadership development, community involvement and the positive behavior that leads to academic achievement and success in life.
The efforts made by Giordano are nothing new.
He received the NHL Foundation Award, given to the player who "applies the core values of hockey, commitment, perseverance and teamwork -- to enrich the lives of people in his community," according to NHL.com.
Giordano has served as spokesman for the Flames' literacy program, Reading...Give It a Shot! and was featured on the program bookmarks, posters and partner website as an advocate for literacy. Giordano committed his time to assisting students to promote the positive effects of reading by visiting numerous schools.
Giordano and his wife also launched a Habitat for Humanity partnership titled 5-for-5 in 2011. It helped provide funding to build five homes; four in the developing countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines, and another in the Calgary area.
He also donated $25,000 per season with the Flames Foundation for Life (now known as the Calgary Flames Foundation) matching his contributions equaling a $150,000 donation to the cause.
Giordano also marched in the Calgary Pride Parade in 2015, and has lent his voice to various public service announcements in support of the You Can Play Project, an advocacy program that challenges sports teams to stamp out discrimination based on sexual orientation.