The Abbotsford Heat Foundation distributed $10,000 to a variety of community groups on Monday, and organizers believe this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the hockey team’s impact outside the rink.
“We’re just laying the groundwork for something that we think could potentially become very big,” chairperson Judy Sweeting said, noting that the foundation settled on its board of directors in February and will be exploring new fundraising initiatives.
“The impact it could have on the community, I think, is going to be very great. We’re very excited, and we have a great board.”
At Monday’s press conference at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, the foundation presented cheques for $2,000 to five local groups – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Abbotsford, the Cyrus Centre, the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association, the Fraser Valley Autism Society, and the Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association.
Sweeting pointed out the organization also distributed upwards of $100,000 during the 2010-11 season through 50/50 draws. Proceeds from that initiative went to five minor hockey groups in the Fraser Valley, including the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association and the Abbotsford Female Hockey Association.
The foundation’s mission is comprised of three pillars – improving children’s health, wellness, education and fitness; developing amateur and grassroots sports; and suppressing gang involvement.