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Who will you vote for?

by Kelli Gustafson / Edmonton Oilers


“Voting begins now!”

Photo by Andy Devlin | Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club

This is what Harrison Katz was heard announcing on Monday afternoon, followed by the sound of the goal horn over a crowd of nearly 2,000 students at Rexall Place.

For the past five months, four participating Jr. High Schools in Edmonton have embarked on the first-ever Hockey Helps Kids Charity Cup Challenge. Each school has been paired with an Oilers player as their team captain, and have been hard at work creating a video in support of a local charity of their choice.

Riverbend School selected Edmonton Public Schools Foundation as their charity, with their team captain, Jordan Eberle. A. Blair McPherson School chose the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta for their charity, with their team captain, Taylor Hall. Killarney School supported the Zebra Child Protection Centre, with their team captain, Connor McDavid. While Florence Hallock School selected the iHuman Youth Society as their charity, with team captain, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

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The idea for Hockey Helps Kids started when Chloe and Harrison Katz were challenged by their parents to come up with a way to give back to the community. “We wanted to do something with kids of our own age,” said 15-year-old Chloe.

Photo by Andy Devlin | Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club

"Because of our family’s connection to the Oilers, doing something involving hockey made a lot of sense,” Harrison explained.

On Monday, Feb. 22, the teams—alongside their team captains—unveiled their final videos at Rexall Place, commencing the online voting period.

Based on fan votes, a winning video will be selected by March 20, rewarding the Charity Cup champion a prize of $25,000 to go towards their selected charity. All three runner-up school teams will receive $10,000 from Hockey Helps Kids to go towards their nominated charities.

“We think it’s important to learn about values, and learn about charities that support them,” Chloe said. “It is inspiring to see all the effort that has gone into Hockey Helps Kids so far”.

Hall commented on the students’ videos, saying, “it reminds us that what we’re doing is so small compared to the fights that other people are going through.”

Photo by Andy Devlin | Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club

Each school’s video was played up on the Rexall jumbotron, after being introduced by a student representative and their Oilers team captain. Following the reveal of each video, the students erupted in cheers, showing support for their school and the selected charities.

“We hope our video will engage the hearts of Edmontonians,” said Vanessa, a student representative from Florence Hallock School.



Hockey Helps Kids hopes to not only provide students with the opportunity to learn the importance behind local charities, but also develop skills of communication, creativity, and teamwork.

“We learned a lot about teamwork and video production.” Hailey, student at Riverbend Junior High School, said.

You can find out more about Hockey Helps Kids by visiting HockeyHelpsKids.com.

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