Friday, April 18, 2014

Atom ‘angels’ rally to help

Angels can come in all forms.
Some of them even wear skates.

The Fort Frances Atom ‘AA’ Canadians got into the holiday spirit the past two weeks, raising $1,001 with their “KIDS 4 KIDS” Christmas rally fundraiser in support of the “Adopt an Angel” program through the local Family and Children’s Services.
“The Canadians have been looking for a way to contribute back to the community in a tangible, meaningful way for kids that are nine and 10 years old,” said team rep Mike Gerstner.
“As much as ‘AA’ hockey is very expensive, there is such a huge push year after year for the kids and parents to raise money from the general public, family, and friends to help offset some of their costs,” he noted.
“In order to show their appreciation for all the support they receive, together with developing an understanding of how fortunate they are for the opportunity to play hockey on a travelling team, we came up with the concept of the rally.”
“Adopt an Angel” is a program that sees paper angels placed on Christmas trees in various local stores bearing the name, age, and wish list of gifts of a child known to FACS as being in a situation where his or her caregivers are unlikely to be able to afford a gift this festive season.
Canadians’ players spent the last two weeks earning money for “Adopt an Angel” by selling lanyard/keychains inscribed with the slogan “Love the Game.”
“The people at FACS were certainly on board with our project,” said Gerstner.
“The more money the players earned, the more presents the team could buy,” he added.
“I think it was a real feel-good project for the kids.”
As an added bonus, the Fort Frances Dental Centre and the Emo Dental Clinic will combine to match the Canadians’ fundraising total—making the overall amount $2,002.
With that total exceeding the anticipated amount needed to fulfill their fundraising commitment to “Adopt an Angel,” Gerstner said the remaining money will be donated to local charities during the holiday season.
The players will head out to The Bargain Store and Walmart after practice this Saturday to make their purchases for the underprivileged children whose holiday happiness has become their focus.
“I think that when people are asked time and time again to give and support the hockey needs of the players, it will be refreshing for them to see that the same players are working hard, developing a sense of appreciation, and giving something back to the community,” Gerstner said.

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