Calgary Flames burn on and off the ice

CALGARY, ALBERTA — The NHL’s Calgary Flames have started their season, but should also be noticed off the ice. The Flames reach out to the community in the same fashion that the community relies on them for entertainment and fun. The Flames have ongoing partnerships with surrounding communities and player programs to help promote awareness for programs that are much needed.

In addition to the player’s individual donations and partnerships, the Flames Foundation for Life matches each player’s donations up to $25,000. The Calgary Flames Hockey Club and their charitable arm the Flames Foundation for Life continues to touch the lives of thousands of people through its commitment to education, medical research, health, amateur sports and recreation.

Many of the Flames’ players are involved in various ways:

Jay Bouwmeester is working with H.E.R.O.S (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society) program for a second season. Bouwmeester donates tickets to program participants and visits events with program youth.

Mark Giordano plays defense on the ice but is an avid spokesman for Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity builds affordable for houses for families in need. Giordano plays a heavy role in Habitat. He and his wife Lauren chair the Habitat for Humanity “5 for 5″ initiative. This initiative raises funds for the construction of five homes in five different countries. Giordano donated $25,000 to this program last year.

Giordano, Lee Stempniak and David Moss visit schools to reinforce the positive effects of literacy this season. Together they are the faces of the Flames’ and Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation’s “Reading…Give it a Shot!” Program. The Flames’ players have been a part of this program for 13 seasons. They visit grade 4, 5 and 6 students to encourage reading. For every 100 minutes read, students are rewarded with a bookmark promoting Flames players.

Cory Sarich plays a large role in raising money for the Flames Foundation for Life and Children’s Link Society. Sarich is the Honorary Chair of the Country Hills Classic that is presented by the Mavericks Chuckwagon Society. This year’s event raised over $225,000 for children’s charities.

Brendan Morrison hosted the second annual Tofino Saltwater Classic Fishing Derby at the end of July 2011. This event raised over $25,000 to benefit Tofino, BC community initiatives. This money went right back into the community, Wickaninnish Elementary School and the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society to name a few. The funds were also directed to the Tofino Hospital Foundation and the District of Tofino’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Mikael Baklund has partnered with the Kids Cancer Care Foundation and Sunshine Foundation of Alberta. His efforts will last all season long. He will donate $100 per goal during the regular season to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. For every assist during the regular season he is donating $100 to the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. In addition Backlund has donated tickets to both organizations for program youth to attend a Flames game and they get the opportunity to meet him afterwards.

Jarome Iginla has been a supporter of KidSport Calgary and Canada. KidSport gives children the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of organized sports and provides support to children in order to remove financial barriers that prevent them from playing organized sport.  For every goal Iginla scores during the regular season he is donating $2,000 towards the cause. To date the Flames captain has raised over $550,000 for the organization.

Olli Jokinen initiated his own program names Olli’s All-Stars for grades 7 through 12 students. His program rewards positive behavior in a school setting. Renee Bourque developed a similar program Bourque’s Buddies last season through the Piitoayis Family School. The school is culturally based from an Aboriginal perspective. Both programs ask students to send a letter about an act of kindness or heroism at school. Both Jokinen and Bourque read letters and select students to attend a Flames game and they get the opportunity to meet the respective players.  In September, Bourque, with the NHLPA, distributed 50 full sets of equipment to youth in Lac La Biche in Northern Alberta.

Tom Kostopoulos is a spokesman for the Calgary Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association. Kostopoulos donates $100 per goal during the regular season and tickets to youth involved in the program. After these games, he meets the ticket recipients in the locker room.

David Moss will donate $100 per goal to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Matt Stajan is a spokesperson for the Alberta Children’s Hospital where he donated a set of seasons ticket  to children who were receiving care at the hospital. Stajan will continue to participate in the Hospital’s fundraising activities and events.

Curtis Glencross has been committed to helping with the Special Olympics Calgary. He has made appearances at their athlete programs. He has also partnered with the Gord Bamford Foundation. The Foundation offers under privileged youth and single parent families in Canada money to support education, health care and music.

Miikka Kiprusoff will donate $10 to the Children’s Cottage Society, a program that prevents harm and neglect to all children and strengthens families through crisis, respite and support services, for every save during the regular season. The Flames goal tender has also donated over $55,000 to the Rainbow Society of Alberta in the last three seasons.

Alex Tanguay has partnered for a second season with the Canadian Cancer Society. He has directed his monies towards stomach cancer research. Tanguay donates $200 per assist during the regular season or a minimum donation of $10,000 to the national cancer organization’s Alberta/NWT division. Last season Tanguay donated $10,000 towards his cause.

The Flames score goals on and off the ice with their partnerships and dedication to their charities.  The Flames continue to reach out even further within the community by being actively involved in team fundraisers and community programs. Some examples are the Pond Hockey by Enmax Energy, Flames Ambassador Celebrity Chair Poker Tournament, Alberta Children Hospital wheelchair hockey and various appearances through the Flames Foundation for Life and Community Relations programming. Not only does the team provide a winning attitude on the ice they promote the type of hard work and dedication off the ice to develop a winning attitude for all programs in need. The community partnerships that the players work hard to build provide the foundation of a healthy, winning roster.

For their overwhelming support and community involvement, we proudly award the Calgary Flames with a Gold Star!

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Copyright © 2011 The Good in Sports, Inc. All rights reserved.

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