A Million Reasons to Smile
Teams from Warren Park and Faustina House Leagues are proof that no good deed goes unnoticed. Squads from the two organizations were front and center when the Toronto Maple Leafs played their first regular season game at home on Saturday, October 5 against the New York Rangers – and it was all thanks to some goodwill.
Celebrating their sponsorship of over one million minor hockey players across Canada, Scotiabank rewarded the two deserving teams with a VIP home opener experience. For the Faustina Minor Bantam Select team, the trip down to the Air Canada Centre came courtesy their commitment to the well-being of their teammates.
“Our story begins in 2012 with one of our kids, Jake Daluz,” explained Head Coach Randy Currie. “Jake was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when he was about five and wouldn’t be playing hockey with us today without monthly treatments at SickKids Hospital.”
When Jake’s teammates found out about his costly treatments, they helped to arrange various fundraisers, raising over $5000 for arthritis research. In subsequent seasons, the team continued fundraising efforts for another teammate who suffers from Type 1 diabetes. Their relentless effort and spirit helped raise over $33,000 for diabetes and arthritis research.
— Scotia Hockey (@scotiahockey) October 7, 2017
“What stands out in my mind the most is the fact that these kids and parents have brought our small south Etobicoke community together for some great fun-filled family events and not once have they complained about how much work it takes,” said Currie.
Only a few kilometers away from Faustina’s home at MasterCard Centre, the Warren Park Eagles Atom Select team were also busy volunteering their time for a good cause.
“Last year, Scotiabank encouraged all the teams it sponsored to give back to the community. We spent an evening sorting food for the North York Harvest Food Bank and the kids learned that they are very lucky and that not everyone is as fortunate as they,” said Head Coach Christopher Wayland. “They learned that part of playing on a team means giving back to the community. We will be back at the North York Harvest Food Bank again this season for sure.”
Wayland added that the experience helped the Eagles grow and bond as a team and will hopefully plant the seeds to help them become outstanding citizens in their community for years to come.
“Hopefully, when they are older, the kids will realize that we are all teammates. Playing for each other, in life as in hockey, is the key to citizenship and the secret to having a happy and rewarding life.”