G&D 15 Tour Visits Montreal
On Friday, NHLPA Goals & Dreams celebrated the sixth stop on its 15th anniversary tour in Montreal, QC, celebrating 15 years of giving back to grassroots hockey.
On Friday, March 20th, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams (G&D) fund continued its multi-city 15th anniversary tour, celebrating 15 years of giving back to grassroots hockey. Following stops in Hastings, MN, Ottawa, ON, Vancouver, BC, Toronto, ON, and Los Angeles, CA, the tour touched down in Montreal, QB with members of the hometown Habs on hand.
Children from the Deux-Montagnes Police Force Hockey Program arrived at the Montreal Canadiens practice facility at the Bell Sports Complex just as the Habs were finishing their practice skate. The children and their families arrived in style thanks to a very special Deux-Montagnes police escort to the rink. The excited group of 23 kids – ages seven to 11 years old - were treated to a lunch as they eagerly awaited their meet and greet with NHLPA members Brendan Gallagher, Manny Malhotra, Tomas Plekanec, and Mike Weaver.
As part of the celebration, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund presented a donation of 25 complete sets of new hockey equipment to the Deux-Montagnes Police Force Hockey Program’s first hockey team, The Forces. The equipment, valued at $12,500, will help the team get onto the ice for the first time to play the game of hockey, something they wouldn’t have been able to do, if not for the equipment donation.
Members of the Deux-Montagnes Police Force Hockey Program were thrilled to meet some of their hockey heroes, and had the opportunity to chat with the players while they signed autographs and posed for photos with the eager group of fans.
.@BGALLY17, @mikeweaver_43, Manny Malhotra & Tomas Plekanec signing autographs for the kids. #GD15 pic.twitter.com/StssOFGHAc— NHLPA (@NHLPA) March 20, 2015
Following their visit with the NHL players, the young athletes took to the ice to test out their new gear in a friendly game coached by non-other than coaches Weaver, Malhotra, Plekanec, and Gallagher.
Upon taking to the ice, it was evident that the Deux-Montagnes Police Force Hockey Program participants were very proud to share the same ice that their favourite players skate on, and the players, who have only been skating for a few short weeks, were already displaying rapid progress and improvement.
"The Deux-Montagnes police department understands the benefits that sports have in a child's life. Sports help build leadership skills, improve life quality, social skills, and gives them a sense of being a part of something. Not all children have that opportunity,” said Program Director Chris Harding. “That's why we reached out and were lucky enough to partner with NHLPA Goals & Dreams. The equipment donation they gave our program is already having a large impact. We're seeing changes in their attitudes at school, at home, and they're doing that by playing a sport they love. We can't thank the NHLPA and the players enough for the benefits the program is providing the kids as well as their parents."
Montreal marks the sixth stop on the G&D 15 tour. Goals & Dreams, the largest grassroots hockey assistance program in the world, has contributed over $22 million to grassroots hockey programs and given more than 70,000 children the opportunity to play hockey in 32 countries since being established in 1999.