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IceDogs and Badgers Team up Again for Coach4Food

November 14, 2012 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Niagara IceDogs

The Niagara IceDogs are pleased to announce that we will be joining the Brock Badgers to bring the Coach4Food initiative back to the Niagara Region for a second straight year.

The Coach4Food program was started by Tom Hedican in North Bay in 2005 and has grown from raising 1,000 pounds of food the first year to an amazing 108,000 pounds of food in their last efforts. The IceDogs were proud to be among the teams selected by Tom to join in this program when it expanded outside of North Bay for the first time last year. The expansion was made possible by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

"Given the increasing number of children that are relying on food banks for their food security it is very rewarding to see young people reaching out to their peers to ensure each and everyone goes to bed with a full tummy each and every night" said Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold. "Coach4Food is a program that goes beyond the borders of Niagara to ensure all children have the same privilege so many of us take for granted. It is heartening to see Niagara embrace this program with the IceDogs and the Brock Badgers"

The way the Coach4Food program works is the IceDogs and Badgers work with local minor hockey teams to help collect food and cash donations to go to local food banks. In return the IceDogs and Badgers are working together to help provide some great incentives for minor hockey teams to participate.

The Niagara IceDogs will invite the top five collecting teams (min. 500 lbs. food and/or cash equivalent) out to join the IceDogs for their New Year's Eve game on December 31st, where they will recognize each area's top donating team and the overall Coach4Food efforts. The players and their families will also be able to join the IceDogs and other fans for a post game skate immediately following the game. On top of that, the Brock Badgers and head coach Murray Nystrom will also come out and help run a practice for each any team that participates in the Coach4Food initiative.

"We are extremely proud to be a part of the Coach4Food initiative again this year," said IceDogs owner Bill Burke. "It is important for the IceDogs organization to give back to the community in every way we can and to be able to once again support our area food banks is very important to us."

"We believe in this important cause," said Brock men's hockey coach Murray Nystrom. "This is a great community partnership, and as community leaders and role models it is important for our student-athletes to give back and support our local communities."

This initiative is for all minor hockey teams across the Niagara Region and what we feel is a key part of this program is that all the food and money donated to the program will stay with the local food bank in the donating team's area. For example, if a team in St. Catharines donates; the donation stays in St. Catharines, if a team in Niagara Falls donates; the donation stays in Niagara Falls, etc. By doing this, we are helping spread the donations throughout the region and hopefully helping as many people as possible.

To participate in this program, each player from participating teams is encouraged to collect food and/or money donations and then bring those donations to their local food bank. Once there, the food bank will weigh their donation (financial donations are $1=1.5 lbs.) and then fill out a form confirming your donation. The forms will then be totaled up and to determine the top donating teams

This initiative kicks off Thursday, November 15th and donations will be accepted for the program until Friday, December 21st.

We feel that this is a great initiative that we are proud to be a part of and we look forward to hopefully growing on last year's total of 8,000 lbs. raised!

We have heard nothing but great things about last year's program and we hope that this program can continue to help bring needed support to food banks throughout the Niagara Region.

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