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Oilers help 'Raise a Reader'

by Lauren Gilley / Edmonton Oilers
Oilers President & COO Patrick LaForge (top right) helped chip in with the Raise-a-Reader program (photo by Jessica McPhee / EOHC)

“Raise-a-Reader and read about the Oilers!” Oilers President and COO, Patrick LaForge called as he hawked newspapers for the Raise-a-Reader program at the Central LRT station early Wednesday morning.

Coming off of a big win the previous night against the Phoenix Coyotes, LaForge and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini joined the Edmonton Journal editorial team in the early hours of the morning to raise money and awareness for literacy programs in Edmonton and across Northern Alberta.

“Learning to read is a legacy and a long-term investment,” LaForge said. “The Oilers are really knitted into the community so being out here today is important. We’re a community-based organization and this is one of the opportunities we have to show that we live here and care.”

The funds generated through the Raise-a-Reader program stay within Edmonton, in support of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and other notable local charities. The campaign allows children to participate in learn-to-read initiatives including the EOCF’s Share A Book program.

Oilers GM Steve Tambellini (second from the left) does his part to help sell newspapers (photo by Jessica McPhee / EOHC)
Tambellini shared LaForge’s sentiment of placing an emphasis on literacy within the community.

“I can’t think of anything more important than the education aspect of giving back to our community and the young people that can benefit from this. The hockey team is connected to the grassroots programs so this is part of our responsibility to give back.”

When asked how fans were reacting to the win against the Coyotes and seeing him on the street selling newspapers, Tambellini chuckled.

“People have lots of suggestions, it’s great. I think they are very clear of what we are trying to accomplish here and how we’re going to do it.”

The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation supports many charitable organizations that focus on youth, education and health & wellness. In its sixth year, the Share A Book program donates more than 5,000 books to 2,500 kids across Oil Country annually.

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