Hockey lovers of all ages got a treat on Sunday at the Partageons la PUCK fundraiser in Pointe-Saint-Charles.
Big names like Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, former Habs player Réjean Houle and celebrity chef Chuck Hughes joined forces to raise money for the community organization Share the Warmth.
“Growing up in the Point, I understand the obstacles many of the youth face. I continue to be committed to giving back to my neighbourhood,” said Bergevin. “If I can help the kids in the community by doing these type of activities, it means the world.”
Share the Warmth’s mission is to fight hunger and poverty in the southwest borough community through art, cooking and tutoring programs.
Community members were invited to raise money for a chance to play on either Bergevin or Houle’s hockey team.
“We exist for three main reasons, so that everybody can eat, so we can all learn and grow and so we can all work,” said Fiona Crossling, executive director for Share the Warmth. “We’re working together with the community to make it dynamic and to make sure everyone meets their potential.”
Children in the area were thrilled at the chance to be coached by Montreal Canadiens Alumni as they played a friendly ball hockey match.
“It was fun, we had a good game,” said young hockey player Leo Christou. “But it was a tie sadly, I was on Marc Bergevin’s team. It was cool.”
For Bergevin, participating in this local fundraiser hits close to home.
“This is my neighborhood, this is where I grew up, this is where I first put on hockey skates,” he said.
Members of the community got to participate in a silent auction for a chance to win donated prizes like an old seat from the old Forum and box tickets to a Habs game.
“I think the best part about this day is being able to raise funds to actually make a difference,” said Hughes. “Whether it’s the lunch box project where they get to obviously give kids lunches but it’s not just that, it’s arts, music and more.”
Share the Warmth’s food banks served over 5,000 low-income families last year, and the funds raised on Sunday will be going towards supporting the organization’s programs and bursaries.
“We don’t just want to give stuff out in the traditional charity model but advocate for food justice,” said Crossling. “Because people should have access to food and the reason they don’t is because they have insufficient income.”
The Partageons la PUCK fundraiser amassed over $65,000 to put towards community youth programs.