More than $10,000 was raised for the Surrey Food Bank during a one-day hockey tournament Friday.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 502, just off of Tannery Road, hosted the Taking it to the Streets hockey tournament benefiting the Surrey Food Bank on Friday (Sept. 7).
Stephanie Dobler, who is part of the Youth Movement committee with ILWU Local 502 that organizes the tournament, said that more than $10,000 was raised during Friday’s event. In the first year, the tournament raised $10,502 and in the second year, about $8,400 was raised, she said.
That money will go toward capital expenditures, according to Surrey Food Bank director Feezah Jaffer.
“Every time we’ve purchased some warehousing equipment with (the money),” Jaffer said. “So we purchased a new pallet jack with it one year. One year it went to help fund our new sprinter van. This year, I’m going to be buying a new stand-up cooler and maybe some other warehousing equipment with it that we need as well.”
Having money to purchase warehousing equipment, Jaffer said, is “invaluable.” The money raised, Jaffer said, is from barbecue and t-shirt sales and entry fees.
“Everything is by donation and so if we have certain organizations that say, ‘We’re doing this event for you,’ and then I go to them and say, ‘Would you mind if I used it for this?’ They’re amenable to it which is great because then it saves up that other money to go to purchasing food,” Jaffer said.
ILWU Local 502 president Tom Doran said the event, now in its third year, is to show that the union members who live and work in the community have an outlook of community outreach and action.
“We believe that events like this — involving our membership — is a way to get people not only involved in our union but involved in the community as well,” Doran said.
The street hockey tournament has 13 teams with about 10 players each, said Dobler.
She said the first year the committee put together the event, they started with a budget of zero dollars.
“We put this together with just a bunch of heads getting together and seeing what we could do,” she said.
Dobler said once the word started getting out, she realized people just love to play hockey. She added that some people just show up with a stick, but want to play in order to contribute.
“We surprised ourselves with what’s happened,” Dobler said.
The tournament, Doran said, gives the union the opportunity to raise awareness that “in this day and age there are still food banks.
“After more than 25 years, we still have food banks in our communities because of precarious employment and the lack of good wages and support for workers,” Doran said.
Jaffer said she would encourage other organization to plan events such as the hockey tournament.
“Hunger knows no season. Stuff like this really helps us out in the year because the summertime is quite a slow season for donations. We look forward to this event every year now because it garners that attention, but it allows us to plan for the future.”