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Flames players reach out to Calgary community

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames are committed both on and off the ice. Through the following programs and events, Flames players are giving back in support of their community this season.

- Mikael Backlund has aligned with the ALS Society of Alberta, an organization that he and his girlfriend Frida are passionate for. Backlund will act as a spokesperson for the organization, host families at games throughout the season, while personally donating $200 for each point he earns over the season. Backlund also works with the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and Special Olympics Calgary by donating tickets that includes visiting with the children and their families following the game as well as participating in floor hockey games.

- Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan have partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southern Alberta this season in becoming official ambassadors of the house. As ambassadors, Bouma and Monahan will donate tickets and make regular visits to the house. Along with the tickets, the selected child and their family will have the opportunity to meet both players following the game. Bouma and Monahan will also commit to attending various events held at the house including Halloween pumpkin carving, games and cooking nights.

- TJ Brodie continues to grow his Skate in Strides program alongside Carstar Collision and Glass in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Along with the skate guards that were sold last season, Brodie has created a Skate in Strides Calgary Flames hat. Fans can purchase both a set of skate guards along with the hat for a package deal of $40 (each sold individually for $20). For every fan that purchases the skate guard/hat package, they will be entered to win one of 11 TJ Brodie prizes with the grand prize of two (2) tickets to a Calgary Flames game that includes a post-game meet and greet with Brodie. The skate guards and hats will be sold through Calgary Flames FanAttic stores, Carstar Calgary locations and online at flamesport.com.

- Joe Colborne continues to honour members of the Canadian Armed Forces through his Colborne’s Forces program presented by Packers Plus. The recipient of the 2015 Ralph T. Scurfield Award for his perseverance, determination and leadership on the ice, combined with dedication to community service off the ice, has purchased a pair of season tickets in which he hosts a member of the military and their guest at every Flames home game. Following the game, the Canadian Forces guests meet the Flames forward and are toured through the team’s locker room. The deserving Armed Forces member is also saluted in-game throughout the year.

- Mark Giordano and his wife Lauren have added a fourth school to Team Giordano for the 2015-16 season. The four schools (three elementary, one junior high) are funded by the Giordanos, the Calgary Italian Open with Mark Giordano and the Calgary Flames Foundation. The schools are provided new computers, floor hockey equipment, school supplies and mentorship opportunities developed and supported by Mark and Lauren. In recognition of his community efforts last season, Giordano was named as a finalist for the NHL Foundation Player Award which is presented annually to the player "who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community”.

- Dougie Hamilton and Mason Raymond are working with the Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) in using the sport of hockey to teach life-skills and empower young people in the community rinks of Bowness and Forest Lawn.

- Kris Russell and his girlfriend Casi have aligned themselves with the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre this season. Through his program, Russell will donate $20 for every blocked shot he records this season. Last season, Russell led the NHL with 283 blocks and currently leads the league in the category this season. To show her support, Casi, along with the Flames Better Halves, will be holding a wreath raffle when the Flames play host to the New York Rangers on Saturday, December 12th. The proceeds from the holiday wreaths, custom-designed by players and their significant others, will also benefit the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.

- Matt Stajan is the Flames Ambassador for the Alberta Children’s Hospital this season, where he volunteers with his wife Katie and personally donates a set of season’s tickets to be given to hospital patients, families and volunteers. The Stajans continue to honour their late son, Emerson, through various initiatives this season, including a toy drive taking place on the main concourse during the Tuesday, December 8th contest against the San Jose Sharks benefitting the Ronald MacDonald House and Alberta Children’s Hospital. Along with the above, for each point Stajan collects over the season, he will donate $200 to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Foothills Hospital.

- Dennis Wideman has partnered with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) on their bullying prevention programs. Through visits to Calgary schools, Wideman will speak to the students on promoting healthy relationships and creating positive social environments that prevent bullying in schools, communities and workplaces.

The Calgary Flames Foundation matches each player’s donations up to $25,000. Through various initiatives, the Calgary Flames Hockey Club and its charitable arm, the Calgary Flames Foundation, continue to touch the lives of thousands of people through its commitment to education, health and wellness, and amateur and grassroots sports.

Beyond the above personal commitments, all Flames players continue to be actively involved in team fundraisers and community programs such as Pond Hockey by ENMAX, Flames Red Rally, The Calgary Flames Celebrity Charity Golf Classic, The Flames Ambassadors Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament, Reading…Give it a Shot! literacy program and many more community appearances through the Calgary Flames Foundation and community relations programming.

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