There are three stereotypes that Canadians are generally known for: 1. we say ‘eh’ a lot. 2. we’re extremely nice to a fault and 3. we love our hockey. Representing both 2 and 3, Communication student Richard Loat decided to embark on a journey across Canada to play ball hockey while raising money for local food banks along the way. The event, dubbed Five Hole for Food in honor of the most glorious way to score a goal in hockey, is fueled by big name sponsors such as Molson Canadian, Boston Pizza, and Marketwire, along with support from teams in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League.
The idea came when Richard was planning a cross-country road trip and decided to do something a little more meaningful with his miles. Already well known in the hockey social media scene as a blogger for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, Richard reached out to other hockey fans across the country, and found the online community to be extremely receptive and supportive. The blueprint for 9 games in 11 days was quickly formed. So far, games have already been played in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, and Edmonton.
Along with playing hockey and raising food, it has also been a good chance for Richard to put faces to many of those he converses with daily on Twitter. Almost all of the promotion for the event have been done completely online through Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, while newspapers like the National Post and other hockey bloggers have offered their support:
With a goal of raising 2000 pounds of food, Five Hole for Food has been a huge success with over 1900 pounds raised already and two cities left on the circuit. Plans to expand to Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have already been talked about for next year. The cross country tour will end on Friday, July 9th in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Richard’s home town and the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Originally set at a nearby park, some strings were pulled with the city and the game is now going to be on Granville Street, the same place where all daily parades took place just months earlier. With Calgary raising over 640 lbs of food, Vancouver will have to step it up in order to get gain bragging rights for the year. For those that cannot make the event, you can still donate food items online.
As Richard and his crew wrap up what’s almost sure to become an annual event, they have subconsciously called out to fans of other sports. With the reach of social media, it has become so much easier to organize meetups and events to connect those with the same interests. If hockey in Canada can raise over 2000 lbs of food in 11 days, imagine what could happen with a 30 day basketball tour in all 48 states, eh?
It's good to see sports and philanthropy joining hands. Usually it's the athletes who contribute the vast share of charity work and monetary donations, but fans can play their part too. Bravo Richard Loat. I hope fans in America can follow your example.
Thanks for your comment Dmitriy. Richard is a great guy.
Social media has definitely changed the landscape, and now all of us who have a web presence should also feel a little bit more socially responsible as well.
I know I retweeted some of his stuff! When I first saw it I thought it was a cool idea because I am totally engrossed in hockey and then later I found out Richard was in charge. Fun times!! Great cause and a great way to bring hockey to the front of the news!! Now if we could get something like this in the USA!!
I love hockey charities, it just shows the warmth and compassion hockey fans have.
Every RT counts! When there's a will, there's a way. Which parts of town do you hail from, Jamie?
Agreed! thanks for the comment!
I don't hail from Canada. I am from Detroit… pretty darn close to Windsor, ONT and I know a lot of Canadians.