Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) is pleased to announce over $3 million was invested in Oil Country during the 2013-2014 season, thanks to the support and donations from our committed hockey fans and generous supporters.
“Through the generosity of our fans, friends and neighbours, the EOCF continues to change lives by making more funding available for local charities and communities – this is a great news story,” said Richard Wong, EOCF Chair.
With a focus on programs supporting education and health and wellness for youth, the Foundation upholds the goals of helping solve social issues and finding ways to make our community a better place to work, live and play. This year, EOCF funding impacted thousands of Oil Country residents through donations to over 165 charitable organizations in Northern Alberta.
“Our in-game fundraisers were a huge success this season and the 50/50 program, which is now accepting applications for the 2014/15 season, continues to be a win-win for the Foundation, fans and charitable organizations,” said Natalie Minckler, EOCF Executive Director. “We greatly appreciate the hard work and guidance of our volunteer board who make these initiatives possible for the Foundation.”
The Foundation was fortunate to celebrate many highlights this year including a new Legacy Project, the Abbottsfield Recreation Centre, much to the delight of people living in the area. In the spring of 2011, the City of Edmonton recognized a need to revitalize the area, starting with the hub of the community. The facility, which is operated by the Abbottsfield Recreation Centre Society, is a vital piece of the community and serves one of the highest need neighborhoods in Edmonton.
While the City was able to fund the redevelopment of this important community centre, the need for high-quality programming still remained. Perfectly aligning with the Foundation’s mandate, the EOCF partnered with the Abbottsfield Recreation Centre Society to provide $1.5 million to support programs, operations and the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment. The new facility, re-opening its doors this fall, is estimated to welcome over 40,000 annual visits from eager children and their families.
In addition to Abbottsfield, the EOCF teamed up with the Hockey Canada Foundation to revitalize the outdoor rinks in both the Beacon Heights and Beverly Heights communities. Through a joint contribution of $460,000, the Beacon Heights rink was outfitted with new boards, gates, lights, nets, players’ benches, penalty boxes and fencing. The Beverly Heights rink is currently under construction and will be ready for patrons this fall.
“It means the world to us that the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the Hockey Canada Foundation have come in here and contributed a big effort for our kids in the neighbourhood,” said Mark Stephenson, Beacon Heights Community League President. “It might just be a rink to some, but for us, it’s a total revitalization of Beacon Heights and it’s going to serve as an important space for our community to come together.”
With the unwavering commitment of generous supporters, the Foundation continues to deepen its imprint on the community. Since its inception in 2001, the EOCF has contributed over $25 million to over 2,800 charitable organizations in Oil Country and has changed countless lives in Oil Country for the better.