By Darren Lum
Published Nov. 20 2018
This year’s Red Hawks hockey team is win ning off the ice by giving an assist to the community organization the Heat Bank Haliburton County.
The varsity boys’ hockey team chose to partner with the Heat Bank.
Hawks head coach Jason Morissette who thought the launch of this effort was timely given the past week was the Week of Kindness said this initiative will provide his student players life lessons that go beyond the game of hockey.
“Hockey is not always about winning" he said. "You’re not always going to win everything. It’s also about helping. Helping each other. Helping the people. It’s also about self-sacrifice because you might be in role or a position you’ve got … it reflects really well on life. Sometimes you’ve got to make an assist to take a hit to give your [teammate] a breakaway. Sometimes you got to come back and help out your goalie and it’s a lot of work. You don’t really want to do it but you have to do it. It’s all those things. They’re all important."
During every home game the team will accept dona tions on behalf of the Heat Bank from the public. All of these donations will go directly to the Heat Bank. The team has also committed to volunteer their time to split wood (and possibly deliver it) on Dec. 1 at Abbey Gardens. There is a hope to add more dates to their schedule and possibly more ways to raise awareness and money for the charita ble organization.
The team’s home opener is against Campbellford at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 22 at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton.
Morissette said relationships between hockey teams and their community isn’t an entirely new concept but could still see how this endeavour is a win for every one. This is Morissette’s first year as the head coach after being the assistant for the past two years and a “helper" for several years before for Ron Yake. He appreciated the support from the new high school principal Chris Bou lay.
He said this initiative will enable his players to bond as a group and become a family.
Love is at the heart of this community outreach effort by the team.
“These guys all love their county. They love Halibur ton County. They love the towns they all come from. They all come from different towns. They’re just open to helping out” he said. “It’s looking to get them involved with volunteering … it’s good for building morale and team spirit.”
Morissette chose to partner with the Heat Bank to raise its profile and because of the widespread need and how it serves people throughout the entire Highlands including high school students.
“Every town uses that organization … every kid in our school and every kid in our community and every per son in our community can . It’s a county-wide initiative. That was a big part of it. The other is a lot of these guys can connect with it.”
Heat Bank co-ordinator Tina Jackson welcomed this partnership.
“We are beyond thrilled with this new partnership! Working together to overcome challenges and to cele brate wins is something both of our teams are focused on. We at Heat Bank are looking at this as an assist from a fantastic team of players to help reach our goal of ensuring that no one goes cold this winter. It’s a commu nity power play!” she wrote in an email.
The team’s captain Owen Smith is hoping he and his teammates can offer more help than just the one wood splitting day. He is looking forward to following through with not just the wood splitting date but also to raise awareness of the organization among the public. He believes in giv ing back to a community because it has been there for him and his family who have endured some challenges recently when his father was injured. He encourages the public to come out and donate to the Heat Bank.
“They’re giving their time everyday. It’s a big part in our community so give as much as you can” he said. Jackson appreciated how this partnership fosters youth involvement.
“This is also a great opportunity to continue to cele brate youth involvement in our community. What a great way for these players to know that they have the power to make a difference and I know we can have some fun along the way” she said.
Keep up to date with the team’s standings and sta tistics with the Game On mobile (www.gameonmobile. com) app.