EDMONTON, AB - Today, Hockey Helps Kids officially launched its fifth annual Charity Cup Challenge voting period from January 16 - February 19, 2020. This one-of-a-kind initiative brings Edmonton schools and the Oilers together to raise awareness and funds for local charities and has experienced immense success since its inception. The program kicked off at Rogers Place, where more than 1,500 students were joined by four Edmonton Oilers players who are serving as team captains. For the 2019-20 season, Hockey Helps Kids has partnered with four local schools and charities, alongside four Oilers players who act as team captains for the program. Each team has created a personal video outlining why its cause is worthy of fan votes and donations. The participating schools are:
- Team Draisaitl - Allendale School / Prosper Place
- Team Khaira - Hillcrest School / YESS: Youth Empowerment & Support Services
- Team Nugent-Hopkins - Balwin School / YOUCAN Youth Services
- Team Nurse - Westminster School / Little Warriors
"I am always inspired by these dedicated students who have enormous passion in supporting their community," said Hockey Helps Kids Team Captain Leon Draisaitl. "Watching the teamwork, creativity and spirit these students have has been a remarkable experience and I am looking forward to the fans seeing the hard work students have put into their video."
Hockey Helps Kids was co-founded by Chloe and Harrison Katz to provide the opportunity to kids from around the city to learn the value of social responsibility and community outreach.
"Harrison and I started this program in the effort to engage students and fans in the community and ultimately drive awareness and raise money for important causes in Edmonton," said Chloe Katz. "These students are so devoted to the charities and it's amazing to see to their ideas come to life through the videos."
"I am grateful for all of these students who have made a huge impact in our community and I want to encourage everyone to take the initiative to watch the videos, go online and vote," added Harrison Katz.
Hockey Helps Kids works alongside each school's curriculum, encouraging students in grades 7 through 9 to think creatively, work as a team, and, most importantly, learn about the significance of being active members in the Edmonton community.
"This experience has been absolutely incredible," says Jackie Fuga, teacher at Hillcrest School. "It has been so empowering to watch a group of inexperienced teens rise to the challenge, surpass their own expectations, and learn a ton along the way. Friendships have formed by bonding over social issues, awareness has been raised, but most importantly, I believe that these youth have realized their efforts have a large impact. They are learning to create their own legacies and help enhance their communities - what a ride it has been!"
Fans are encouraged to go online at https://www.hockeyhelpskids.com/vote/ and vote for their favourite team during the voting period. The team with the most votes will be named Charity Cup champion and win $25,000 for their charity. Runner-up teams will receive an award of $10,000 for their charities, and each school will also receive $5,000 for their participation.
Since its inception, Hockey Helps Kids has connected with over 8,500 students and partnered with 21 different charities to donate over $315,000 ($230,000 to charity and $85,000 back to schools). For more information about Hockey Helps Kids Charity Challenge, please visit https://www.hockeyhelpskids.com/.