The Trinity Western University Spartans hockey team has donated 1,400 game tickets to the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper, enabling every hamper family to go to a game in the new year.
Cloverdale Christmas Hamper organizer Matthew Campbell said it’s the first time that the program has ever had a donation along these lines.
As the hamper program puts together anywhere from 300 to 400 hampers a year, having 1,400 tickets enables organizers to give tickets to all the families who want them.
“The [Spartans] gave so much,” said Campbell.
“It’s a chance for these families to take their kids to a hockey game, an opportunity to watch some great, high-level university hockey at no cost,” said Campbell. “And it’s a great way for us to be able to say thank you to the volunteers that helped with the hamper this year.”
It’s the first time that the Trinity Western University Athletic department has worked with the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper to this degree.
Jeff Gamache, TWU Athletic Director, said that “this is likely the largest one time donation” that TWU athletics has ever made, noting that although the teams often donates tickets to various organizations as a way to give back to “youth sport in the Fraser Valley,” they’ve never given tickets in an amount like this before.
The 1,400-ticket donation is worth anywhere from $7,000 to $9,800, as tickets are on average $7 each or $20 for a family of four.
The TWU Spartans are involved in other charity work, as Gamache said that in TWU’s view, it’s very important that their athletes “develop an appreciation for giving back to the local community.”
“We have athletes who have worked together to sponsor Syrian refugees and refugees from Africa and Asia. We have donated shoes to local agencies who hand them out to people in need. We have athletes working the kettles for the Salvation Army this Christmas. We have athletes working with the Special Olympics,” he said. “I could go on and on.”
Working with the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper was both an opportunity for the Spartans to give back to local families and to promote intercollegiate hockey.
“We just saw a small way to make someone’s day,” said Gamache. “The quality of hockey is really high. These guys have all played junior hockey but have decided to end the dream of making it to professional hockey and return to school. I think any person who comes to the game will enjoy a great night out at an excellent facility like the [Langley Events Centre].”
Gamache said he would “absolutely” consider working with the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program again.
For more information on the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program, visit www.mycck.ca. If anyone is in need of a turkey dinner this December, they’re encouraged to RSVP to the annual Christmas Dinner hosted by the Cloverdale Community Kitchen on Monday, Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. For more on the dinner, visit the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper website or call 604-574-4001 ext. 111.