Edmonton, AB - When Chloe and Harrison Katz set out to explore opportunities to make a difference in the community, they decided that there were two things they wanted to focus on: hockey and kids. With that, the foundation of "Hockey Helps Kids" was born - an exciting community initiative aimed at raising awareness and funds for a variety of local charities, while also strengthening the relationship between the Oilers and the community.
Hockey Helps Kids, co-founded by Harrison and Chloe Katz, children of Oilers Entertainment Group Chairman Daryl Katz and his wife Renee, made its debut last year, and returns for a second season as a key program for the Edmonton Oilers upcoming 2016-17 Inaugural Season at Rogers Place after its incredibly successful and engaging campaign last year. The project is funded by the Katz family and administered by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), who helped connect the Katz children with the four local Edmonton schools and four Oilers players to serve as team captains for each school to learn about community service.
Hockey Helps Kids Year 2 was launched earlier today at Highlands Junior High School with the help of over 400 junior high school students from the four new local schools participating in this year's program including, St. Edmund, John D. Bracco, Highlands and Father Michael Troy. In its second season, Hockey Helps Kids will once again complement each schools' leadership curriculum, encouraging the students to grow alongside the program while raising awareness and funds for local charities.
"Harrison and I are looking forward to another fun and rewarding season of Hockey Helps Kids and can't wait to see what concepts the four new schools come up with to raise awareness for their charitable causes. We're so inspired and motivated by all of the students' interest in the program. It's going to be a great year," said Chloe Katz.
The four new schools have teamed up with four Oilers players who will work alongside the students as they prepare to compete in a unique Charity Cup Challenge later this season.
The teams and student-selected charities for the 2016-17 season are:
Team Jordan Eberle - St. Edmund Catholic Junior High School, supporting the Guardian Angels Program in the Edmonton Catholic School District Foundation
Team Milan Lucic - John D. Bracco Junior High School, supporting the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton
Team Connor McDavid - Highlands Junior High School, supporting Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta
Team Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Father Michael Troy Junior High School, supporting Sport Central
"Being new to Oil Country, I'm really excited to jump right in and help the community as a Hockey Helps Kids team captain," said Milan Lucic. "It's incredible that Hockey Helps Kids is a student-driven program. It's awesome to see youth so engaged in the community and I'm looking forward to getting started this fall."
"Chloe and I are excited to have Milan Lucic joining Hockey Helps Kids with our three other returning team captains, Jordan Eberle, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Both the students and schools have tons to look forward to this year," added Harrison Katz.
The students have already implemented key strategies including, research, interviews and the collection of data, to help select their local non-profit organizations to support. With help from their Oilers team captain, the schools will then develop a video pitch to promote their charity through votes and awareness. The pitches will be promoted during Oilers games and online from January 17 to February 16, 2017 and fans will be able to vote for - and donate to - their favourite team/pitch.
The school with the most votes at the end of the Charity Cup Challenge will win $25,000 for their designated charity and the three runners-up will also receive $10,000 for their local charities.
Last season in the inaugural year of Hockey Helps Kids, Team McDavid and Killarney School captured the Charity Cup, winning $25,000 to the Zebra Child Protection Centre in Edmonton.
To learn more about Hockey Helps Kids, please visit HockeyHelpsKids.com, download the Oilers Mobile App or check out Hockey Helps Kids on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.