Jun 15

Charity Street Hockey Game Coming To Calgary

by Victoria Peterson · 1 comment

Before the city is taken over with Stampede fever, a group of passionate hockey fans are hoping to draw upon Calgary’s giving nature to aid the Interfaith Food Bank.

Billed as Five Hole For Food, event coordinator and creator Richard Loat will be traveling west from Montreal, playing street hockey in nine cities over a 10-day span in aid of local banks.

Five Hole For Food will be making a stop in Calgary on Monday, July 5th, kicking off the first of two Alberta stops on the tour.  The ball will drop in Eau Claire Market and the game will have a spin on it: it will be Flames fans vs. Canucks fans, building on the already intense rivalry between the two Western Conference NHL clubs.

“I’m particularly excited to come to Calgary because not only is it a great hockey city but our Canucks and Flames rivalry themed games is going to be one of the most exciting of the trip,” Loat said. “We couldn’t ask for a better location as we’re right on the water and some of the best hockey fans I’ve met have been Calgarians.”

While the official game starts at 4:00 PM, hockey fans in Eau Claire that evening are free to join in pick-up games and if they bring non-perishable food items or a monetary donation to the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank, they can put their name in a draw for prizes donated to the cause.

The idea of Five Hole For Food came to Loat when he was thinking of driving across the country. Instead of just taking a vacation, however, Loat decided he wanted to do something to help.

“I wanted to find a way to combine my passion for hockey with helping communities and the concept of Five Hole For Food just seemed perfect.”

After considering how he could pull this idea off in a meaningful manner, Loat came up with a model for how each game could impact communities the most: each goal scored in the game could equal a certain poundage of food donated to a local food bank. He recruited known hockey writers and bloggers from across the country to come on board as city organizers and suddenly the event became a reality.

Wanting to reach the widest audience he could, Loat has used social media to expose the event all over the country. The event’s Facebook page and Twitter account have over 500 people involved in Five Hole For Food and that number continues to grow as the start date approaches.

While organizing such a whirlwind event has taken a lot of effort, Loat said he hardly counts it as work thanks to the support he has encountered.

“The process of organizing things has been a blur and things have been coming together every day. It’s been really exciting to see support from individuals and groups at all levels – especially all the support from all levels of hockey.”

The Calgary Flames and Calgary Hitmen are just two of the many professional hockey teams that have pledged their support in some form. Loat said that while he knew the hockey industry has some of, if not the, most charitable individuals within in it, he wasn’t expecting such an outpouring of support from fans and teams alike.

“The generosity has been absolutely incredible.”

Despite Five Hole For Food’s infancy, Loat hopes to make it a yearly event.

“You can be assured that after we wrap things up this year we’re going to get started on making next year even bigger and better,” he smiled.

For more information on participating or donating to Five Hole For Food in Calgary, contact Torie Peterson at (403) 809-6926 or [email protected].

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