On Monday February 20th, which is the Family Day Holiday in Ontario, members of the Toronto Maple Leafs Community and Development team along with team Community Ambassador Wendel Clark & team mascot Carlton the Bear, travelled to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to surprise the community which was hosting a ball hockey tournament for Syrian refugees and their families.
The event was organized by local community members, Jeff Broadbent and Mark Dubas and included support from RCMP, OPP, local police and the Canadian Forces and saw the participation of over 100 refugees. The main goal of the tournament was to help ease their transition into their new life in Canada and foster positive relationships with police while introducing them to a staple of Canadian sporting culture.
The Leafs welcomed guests with a gift packs full of team and Under Armor merchandise and provided hockey sticks to each of the children who participated in the tournament. Food and drink were enjoyed by family members thanks to MLSE Corporate Sponsors, Tim Horton's and Mr. Sub. Scotiabank was also on-site to offer banking advice. Carlton and Wendel took photos and signed autographs for fans and participants. It was a wonderful day for all involved and truly demonstrated that Hockey Is For Everyone.