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Hockey Helps Kids Returns for Second NHL Season

by Oilers Entertainment Group / Edmonton Oilers
2015 Hockey Helps Kids. Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club,

Edmonton, AB — Hockey Helps Kids, an exciting charitable initiative which made its debut last year, returns for a second season as a key program for the Edmonton Oilers upcoming 2016-17 season at Rogers Place after its incredibly successful and engaging inaugural campaign.

Hockey Helps Kids, co-founded by Chloe and Harrison Katz, children of Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz and his wife Renee, just completed its inaugural year after being in action during the entirety of the 2015-16 National Hockey League (NHL) season. The pilot project was funded by the Katz family and administered by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), who helped connect the Katz children with four local Edmonton schools and four Oilers players to serve as team captains for each school to learn about community service.

For its second year in motion, junior high school students, Grade 7 to 9, will again be afforded the opportunity to learn about the importance of being active and positive members of their community.

“While we set out to inspire youth our age to get more involved in their communities, we’ve found that we’ve been just as inspired and motivated by our community and all of the students’ hard work,” said Harrison Katz. “Chloe and I continue to get excited about Hockey Helps Kids and we can’t wait to see this program grow in its second year!”

“Harrison and I couldn’t be more excited to grow the Hockey Helps Kids program next season and are looking forward to working with the four new participating schools to learn more about the charitable causes they want to support,” added Chloe Katz.

A Hockey Helps Kids panel, which included Chloe and Harrison Katz, Florence Hallock School’s students Vanessa Chong and Suzanna Tran, Sandra Woitas, Hockey Helps Kids Educational Consultant and Corene Zmurchik, Assistant Principal, Florence Hallock School, helped select the participating schools and are thrilled to welcome four new Edmonton schools, Highlands Junior High School, John D. Bracco Junior High School, Father Michael Troy Junior High School and St. Edmund Catholic Junior High School on board for the upcoming year.

"Wow! We are so excited to be chosen to participate in Hockey Helps Kids. Working with the Oilers and the Oilers Foundation will help to focus the service work that our students are doing and give our community an opportunity to rally with our school to support a local charity,” said Brad Burns, Highlands Junior High School Principal. “I really think that this awesome program will be life changing for so many Highlands students. A huge thank you to Harrison & Chloe Katz for their vision, pairing an Oilers player with a school to work towards giving back to the community is simply brilliant. We can't wait to get started!"

Hockey Helps Kids charity cup winner, Team McDavid from Killarney School. Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club.

On the heels of a successful inaugural campaign, Hockey Helps Kids will again look to complement each schools’ leadership curriculum, encouraging the students to grow alongside the program while raising awareness and funds for local charities and learning the importance of making your community a better place for others.

During the inaugural campaign, over 1,770 local junior high school students from four schools participated in Hockey Helps Kids with huge success, including A. Blair McPherson, Florence Hallock, Killarney and Riverbend.

In total, each school’s Charity Cup videos boasted 18,000 online views and over 44,000 votes, garnering invaluable attention to the local charities and students’ dedication to the program.

Having players learn more about the charitable causes and social issues alongside the students created a more intimate and interactive learning environment. Each school’s team captain discussed fundraising ideas, helped make decisions and supported their team’s objectives.

“This experience has been really incredible. It’s so great to see youth engaged in their community and really make a difference. It’s amazing that the Hockey Helps Kids program is student-driven,” said Taylor Hall, A. Blair McPherson School’s Captain during the inaugural campaign.

Stay tuned for more details on the program, including Oilers participation and charitable causes when the program launches this fall. For more information on Hockey Helps Kids, please visit HockeyHelpsKids.com.

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