For the first time, Toronto Maple Leafs alumni are coming to B.C. for a three-game charitable hockey tour in support of community inclusion.
The Leafs will be playing against teams of local hockey players in Victoria, Port Alberni and Chilliwack. The Toronto Maple Leafs alumni include Rick Vaive, Al Lafrate, Mike Krushelnyski, Garry Valk and nine others on the B.C. tour. It’s the first time the Leafs alumni team has played in the province.
Each game’s home team is made up of local players looking forward to a game with their Toronto Maple Leaf heroes. One lucky superfan will travel with the Leafs to each game by bus from Victoria to Port Alberni to Chilliwack.
The tour’s goal is to promote community inclusion, particularly for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
“We are using a common bond – hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs alumni – to bring together people of all abilities to celebrate inclusion and diversity,” said Jeff Gillbank, director of Chilliwack Society for Community Living.
Lifetime Networks Victoria is hosting the game in Victoria and the organization’s finance director, Carlene Thompson, said the benefit of the event will be the “reduction of social isolation for people with disabilities who will be welcomed and celebrated.”
“The long-term benefit will be to strengthen Inclusion BC and our local community service providers so that people with disabilities in our communities get the support they need to become active members of their communities,” Thompson said.
All proceeds from the games will support children, youth and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities in B.C.
“It’s going to be a fun, family-friendly night,” said Craig Summers, executive director at Port Alberni Association for Community Living. “Come on out and show your support for community inclusion, diversity and hockey.”
Participating organizations are Lifetime Networks Victoria, Port Alberni Association for Community Living, Chilliwack Society for Community Living, Inclusion BC, Wilson’s Group of Companies and Toronto Maple Leafs alumni.
The Victoria game takes place on Feb. 20 at The Q Centre. Tickets can be purchased here.
The Port Alberni game is on Feb. 21 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. Find tickets here.
Feb. 22 in the Chilliwack game at the Chilliwack Coliseum. Tickets can be found here.