VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — NHL fans waiting to hear when they can watch hockey live again aren’t sitting idle during this pandemic.
Thanks to their donations, the charity arm of the Vancouver Canucks is broadening its mandate to help seniors and families needing support.
Canucks for Kids Fund Executive Director Alex Oxenham says $500,000 will be shared by several groups around B.C..
“Despite missing a few games there, the Canucks For Kids Fund had a successful season and we are able to make a significant gift back to the community in an effort to help support all of the COVID-19 relief efforts that are happening around the province. This is in addition to the 50/50 that we did that our fans generously supported and we were able to raise another $248,000 for the community that we announced last week.”
She says they’re broadening their mandate because, up until now, their priority has been helping children.
“Our 50/50 program is our biggest source of revenue each year and we also were able to execute all of our signature events that we had planned for this past season, so we’re in really good shape. I think time will tell as we move forward here and what next year looks like. If we’re allowed to have certain events, but there’s a lot of charities out there that didn’t get to do all of the fundraising that they had planned on. That’s where we want to step in and help as much as we can.”
Of the half million dollars promised now, $200,000 will go to Feeding the Community — a group supporting various meal programs in Vancouver.
“We’ve kind of focused in on three key areas which is nourishing our community, so we are supporting a lunch program through the Salvation Army, as well as the Strathcona Community Centre, feeding families in the Downtown Eastside and we’ve donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank through this. Their needs have increased significantly.”
Oxenham admits it hasn’t been easy choosing who to help, because the need is strong everywhere.
“We want to continue to do as much as we can and thanks to our incredible fans, we hope to be able to do more. Some of these, we actually did some research ourselves and were able to call them and almost surprise them with a gift. Our board felt strongly of trying to hit different areas of needs.”
Oxenham adds plans are in the works for another 50/50 draw likely near the end of May.