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Preparing for the season ahead

by Jen Sharpe / Edmonton Oilers
Mustard Seed community member Stewart Lazzo (center) poses with Terry O'Flynn (EOCF Board Member), Carissa Halton (Mustard Seed Managing Director), Fernando Pisani (Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club), Natalie Minkler (Executive Director, EOCF) and Ken Wicks (President, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of Edmonton) at The Mustard Seed. Photo by Andy Devlin/EOHC.

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With autumn officially underway, the upcoming NHL season isn’t the only topic of conversation among local Edmontonians. Falling temperatures will once again pose a serious threat to the city’s less fortunate, and in response to the challenge that lies ahead over the winter months, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Edmonton recently joined forces to donate over 500 men’s coats and parkas to The Mustard Seed, a charitable resource for inner-city residents.

“At this time of year with the weather getting cooler, the donation of coats is particularly important to the Mustard Seed church. The majority of their clients are gentlemen, and we’re pleased to offer some coats to their clients for this upcoming winter,” Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Executive Director Natalie Minckler said at the donation announcement.

Many of the coats were donated by Petro-Canada, explained project coordinator Ken Wicks, President of the local Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and Supply Chain Manager for Petro-Canada.

“We wrapped up a fairly significant project at the Petro-Canada Refinery in Edmonton and we had some materials and equipment and some clothing left over so we made the effort to donate it back to the community. . . With the winter season coming up here, it was an opportunity for us to give back to the community. “

“We’ve got some people that are less fortunate than others,” Wicks continued. “And obviously winter is tough on them so we’ve got to go the extra mile and help out when we can.”

Oilers forward Fernando Pisano, who assisted with the delivery of coats, agreed wholeheartedly.

“I think it’s obviously something that you need to do, to give back to the community,” Pisani said. “With winter coming soon and cold weather, it’s important for people to be dressed properly in the cold and we’re doing what we can to help.”

According to Mustard Seed Manager Director, Carissa Halton, the donation will make a big difference for people who struggle to find shelter in the winter.

“This donation is huge especially when we get into the really cold months here. Starting in October we start to see temperatures drop and parkas such as this can be the difference between life and death for people that are on the streets.”

For more information on The Mustard Seed, visit
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