The Ottawa 67’s made good on a big pre-season promise as the organization has capped off it’s pledge to complete 50 acts of kindness in the community during the 2017-2018 OHL season.
From its humble beginnings during this year’s pre-season schedule, the 50 for 50 promise to reach out and help the community in a variety of different ways continued to pick up momentum all season long, wrapping up with a visit to the Chartwell Lord Lansdowne retirement residence last week.
The campaign involved local students, minor hockey players, homeless shelters, scout troops, season ticket holders and CHEO patients and was built with one common goal in mind: giving back and saying thank you for the past 50 years of 67’s hockey in Ottawa.
“I think this initiative brought something to this city in a way that hasn’t happened before,” said Greg Amiel, Community Events Coordinator at OSEG. “With the help of our players, coaches and the OSEG family, it’s been incredible to see people come together and truly give back to this cause.”
The campaign saw players visit schools to share a message about teamwork and reaching goals, surprise young players during a road hockey game, calling season ticket holders to wish them well during the holidays, hosting community hockey practices and writing letters to the Canadian Armed Forces for Remembrance Day. The OSEG Partnerships department slept on the football field on a chilly winter night to help fight youth homelessness, the Ice Girls donated food to the Ottawa Foodbank and the stadium operations crew helped deliver furniture to families in distress through Helping With Furniture. These are just a few of the 50 acts of kindness that were completed this season.
As far as the players went, they were as excited to take part in the project as those on the receiving ends of the acts of kindness were.
“It didn’t matter if it was a fourth year guy or a rookie, they all came to realize what 50 years means in junior hockey and the impact these 50 acts can have on others,” said Amiel. “They were all excited to participate and they all wanted to make an impact.”
For young players that hope to move on to the professional ranks one day, taking part in these initiatives is also big for their own development.
“It’s a great time for our players to learn about giving back in different ways so they can have an impact down the road, not just on the ice but on their communities.
With community practices and school visits a regular occurrence during the campaign, the focus on youth was clear from the start of the project.
“The fans, the kids, are the future,” said Amiel.
For a breakdown of all the acts of kindness making up 50 for 50, Ottawa67s.com/50for50.