Hockey for the Homeless, a charitable organization, relaunches with a new name and an expanded program to encourage participants to help solve the growing issue of Homelessness in Canada.

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - Hockey for the homeless, a volunteer-driven charitable organization announces some exciting changes to its 2011 program.  The new expanded program kicks off with an organization name change to Hockey Helps the Homeless.  The change in name is to ensure clarity of understanding in the organization's purpose which is to leverage the sport of hockey, Canada's favourite pastime, to bring awareness to and support for the homeless across Canada through education, fundraising and partnering with outreach organizations.

The 2011 program will continue to build on the success of its hockey fantasy tournaments, with events scheduled between November and February in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Niagara Region and Ottawa.  Each tournament will include the participation of NHL alumni, offering a fun and rewarding way for hockey enthusiasts to get involved and support the homeless cause.  Hockey Helps the Homeless is also pleased to announce it's first ever Women's hockey tournament, hosted in Toronto this November, with major star power from the world of women's hockey thanks to a newly formed partnership with the CWHL (Canadian Women's Hockey League).

"As a former NHL player, this organization and their tournaments provide an enjoyable yet tangible way for me and my NHL Alumni associates to give back to our communities.  In my experience, the event itself (a single-day hockey tournament, reception dinner and silent auction) presents a unique way to raise the necessary funds to support solutions-based homeless organizations located in the host city. To date, the volunteer-driven organization has raised over $3.5 million in support for long term solutions with homeless agencies, shelters and transition programs across Canada" said Mike Gartner, former NHL Great and Honorary Chairman.

In addition to hockey tournaments, Hockey Helps the Homeless will be launching a Student Ambassador Program this fall by bringing our message and fundraising platform into high schools.  The goal is to partner with local outreach agencies in driving awareness on the issue of homelessness by engaging and involving youth through events, curriculum, hands-on interaction with outreach partners and personal fundraising initiatives.  The organization is very excited about this new growth platform and will launch the program in 6 schools in Montreal and Toronto.

Participants, Volunteers, Corporate sponsors and Partners are the backbone of our organization.  Together we can help make a difference in the lives of homeless men, women and youth struggling across our country.  For more information and to get involved, please visit our website at www.hockeyhelpsthehomeless.com.

Upcoming Hockey for the Homeless tournament locations and dates are as follows: 

  • Calgary
  Nov 4th     Don Hartman North East Sportsplex
  • Montreal
  Nov 18th    4 Glace, Pierrefonds
  • Toronto
  Nov 18th   Magna Centre, Newmarket
  • Vancouver
  Nov 25th   UBC Thunderbird Arena
  • Ottawa
  Jan 20th   Kanata Recreation Complex
  • Niagara
  Jan 27th   Gale Center

About Hockey Help the Homeless:

Hockey helps the Homeless is a volunteer-driven charity organization that was established in 1996 when a group of Toronto businessmen decided to turn an annual industry hockey tournament into a charitable event aimed at helping the homeless. Since our inception Hockey Helps the Homeless has expanded its scope and impact right across Canada raising in excess of $3.5 million while driving awareness of and support for Canada's homeless.  Through the significant leverage provided by our players, sponsors and supporters in the community as well as the knowledge and expertise of our outreach partners, we intend to facilitate frontline and reintegration projects, while helping foster the corporate and political will to put an end to homelessness in our lifetime.   The face of homelessness and its associated social challenges are changing every day.  30 years ago, the average Canadian had never heard the word homeless and more than 90% of the people on the street were adult men. Today, it is estimated that there are more than 200,000 homeless people in Canada with children and young families making up the fastest growing segment of the population. 

If you would like to learn more about the homeless situation in your community and across Canada, you can contact one of the homeless outreach organizations identified on our website (www.hockeyhelpsthehomeless.com) or you can register to play in one of our many tournaments.

For further information:
Marsha McFadgen
416-270-4738, mm@hockeyhelpsthehomeless.com