(Edmonton, AB) - Hockey Helps Kids, an exciting philanthropic initiative which made its debut in 2015-16, returns for a third season as a key program for the Edmonton Oilers upcoming 2017-18 National Hockey League (NHL) season. Hockey Helps Kids is a fun and innovative charity competition which brings together local schools, charities and the Edmonton Oilers to raise awareness and funds for a variety of local non-profit organizations.
A Hockey Helps Kids panel, which included Chloe and Harrison Katz, past participants from Father Michael Troy and Highlands School, and Hockey Helps Kids Educational Consultant Sandra Woitas, helped select the participating schools and are thrilled to welcome Dan Knott, Dr. Donald Massey, Mary Butterworth and Westmount Junior High to this year's program.
"The Dan Knott School community is very excited about being part of the Hockey Helps Kids program. We are passionate about working together with the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation to help make our community a better place by working hard to promote and raise awareness of a local charity. Dan Knott is ready to work hard, to be creative and to participate in the third year of this amazing charity competition," said Dan Knott School Principal Shelley Fenton.
Hockey Helps Kids, co-founded by Chloe and Harrison Katz, children of Edmonton Oilers Chairman Daryl Katz and his wife Renee, just completed its second year after being in action once again during the 2016-17 Inaugural Season at Rogers Place. The project is funded by the Katz family and administered by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), who helps 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.
This past season, Hockey Helps Kids experienced significant growth and momentum in the Edmonton community. In its second year, a total of 89,808 votes were cast within the one-month voting window for the Hockey Helps Kids Charity Cup, which more than doubled its inaugural results and garnered invaluable attention to the local charities and students' dedication to the program.
Last season, Father Michael Troy School, captained by Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, was victorious with the most votes, winning the 2nd annual Hockey Helps Kids Charity Cup and earning $25,000 for Sport Central, a local charity dedicated to making resources available to assist needy kids in sport across Edmonton, Central and Northern Alberta.
For its third year, junior high school students in Grades 7 to 9, will once again be afforded the opportunity to learn about the importance of being active and positive members of their community. 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.
"It has been amazing to see how far Hockey Helps Kids has come since its inception two years ago," said Harrison Katz. "To be able to double the amount of votes from last year, while continuing to engage kids in such a positive way, it's pretty cool. This third season is going to be even bigger and better."
"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 Chloe Katz. "Harrison and I are looking forward to working with the four new schools to learn more about the charitable causes they are passionate about."
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," said Milan Lucic, John D. Bracco School's Captain during the second season of Hockey Helps Kids. "It's great to see youth engaged in their community and really striving to make a positive difference. It's amazing that the Hockey Helps Kids program is student-driven and I had a lot of fun meeting with the students in my first year with the Oilers."
More details on the program, including this year's Oilers Captains and charitable causes will be announced this fall. For more information on Hockey Helps Kids, please visit HockeyHelpsKids.com.