When the sounds of shouts and laughter echoed through the halls of the Gale Centre, we knew they had arrived; 250 students and teachers from St. Paul and St. Michael high schools in Niagara Falls. They came for Hockey Helping Homes – an opportunity for them to see their school’s team play, while supporting the YW. The sense of enthusiasm in the air was contagious!
Hockey Helping Homes, held on March 4th, was a friendly hockey game between the competing schools. Students were allowed to buy out of their classes to cheer on their team, participate in a fun raffle of prizes that were donated by various local businesses and win a trophy which was awarded to the winning team. More than 250 students came out ready to support their teams, holding up signs and wearing their school’s colours.
Hockey Helping Homes is a fun, competitive event to educate students and their families on the realities of homelessness and poverty both locally and nationally. St. Paul and St. Michael high schools in Niagara Falls and their Student Athletic Councils partnered with the YW and Raising the Roof to create awareness and to raise funds for homeless women and their families across Niagara.
Across Canada, youth make up approximately 20% of the homeless population. Hockey Helping Homes gave the youth at these schools the opportunity to learn more about the prevalence of poverty-related issues, while supporting and empowering them to become aware and involved in their community. During the weeks before the game, our Cardboard House was on display at both schools.
At the end of an exciting and very close game, the St. Paul Patriots won the game 4:2 and took home the trophy for this year. Mayor Jim Diodati and our Executive Director Elisabeth Zimmermann finished off the day by handing over the trophy and by saying a BIG Thank You – thank you to these engaged young men and women, thank you to two schools who decided to make a difference.
Mayor Jim Diodati hands over the trophy
Our Executive Director Elisabeth Zimmermann surrounded by the hockey teams
A big thank you also goes to Tony Stirpe and his team at the concession stand as well as First Student for getting the students to the game and back safe and sound!