Vancouver Giants Launch ‘A Giant Heart’

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Dan Elliott

After more than 10 years of extensive community involvement, the Vancouver Giants Hockey Club is excited to unveil a new brand to represent the organization’s numerous community and charitable initiatives, called ‘A Giant Heart’. In partnership with the BC Honda Dealers and White Spot, ‘A Giant Heart’ will now be used in conjunction with all of the club’s in-house grassroots programs, as well as alongside our official charitable partners.

Giants Majority Owner, Ron Toigo, is extremely proud of the impact the Giants have made on the community: “While there are so many deserving causes out there, we decided from the outset to make children and families our priority. We’ve grown our minor hockey and literacy programs into some of the biggest and best in the country. And we’re honoured to be aligned with some outstanding local charities that do important work with less-fortunate kids and families in our community.”

Giants Director of Marketing, Paul Lucrezi, explains the concept of the new branding: “Since we began play in 2001, the Giants brand of hockey has been referred to, both formally and informally, as ‘Hockey with Heart’, so the extension of that theme to our community programs was an easy one. This branding is a great reflection of all the time and energy that our players, staff and owners have dedicated over the years. It’s something our organization can be proud of.”

Please see below for the new “A Giant Heart” branding, as well as a brief explanation of our cornerstone initiatives. We also invite you to visit VancouverGiants.com/giantheart on a regular basis to view our on-going charitable efforts throughout the year.

IN-HOUSE PROGAMS

Since the Giants first season in 2001-02, the organization has teamed up with local Minor Hockey Associations throughout the Lower Mainland giving them the opportunity to raise funds through ticket sales and 50/50 sales. In total, we have helped Lower Mainland Minor Hockey Associations raise almost $3,000,000 during our 10 seasons of existence. Those are funds that did not exist prior to the Giants starting play.

The BMO Read to Succeed Literacy Initiative is now in its 10th year. A program directed at students from Grades 1 to 7 to encourage reading and physical activity, Giants players make visits to participating schools to speak with students about the importance of education and physical fitness. If the students can complete a 2-week reading and activity program, they are rewarded with a ticket to a Vancouver Giants home game. Last year alone, the Giants reached out to 77 schools and over 16,000 students from across the Lower Mainland. It’s estimated that over 100,000 children have participated in this program since its inception.

Gally’s Goals For Cancer is an initiative created by Giants’ forward Brendan Gallagher to honour his late grandfather who passed away in 2010 from prostate cancer. For every game the Giants win, Gallagher donates $20 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of BC. The Giants have also jumped on board, donating $100 for every goal Brendan scores. Last season, the program raised over $7,000 and is well on its way to beating that total this season.

The WHL Education Program is an integral part of a player’s Western Hockey League commitment and the Vancouver Giants, in partnership with the WHL, want to ensure the education of our players is a top priority. For every season played in the WHL, players are entitled to a 1-year post secondary scholarship. Since the program began in 1993, close to 3,000 WHL scholarships have been awarded, making the Western Hockey League one of the leading providers of academic scholarships in Western Canada.

OFFICIAL CHARITABLE PARTNERS

Over the years the Vancouver Giants have aligned themselves with a number of outstanding charities. Kids Up Front provides sporting and cultural event tickets to those who might now otherwise get a chance to attend. The Giants, along with their Season Ticket Holders and Corporate Partners, make regular donations to this worthwhile cause throughout the season.

The CKNW Orphans’ Fund and The Province Empty Stocking Fund have been long-time partners and benefit from the Giants annual Teddy Bear Toss, in which fans toss stuffed animals onto the ice after the Giants first goal of the game. All bears are distributed through the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau in time for the holidays. This year’s Teddy Bear Toss is December 9 when the Giants play host to the Portland Winterhawks, and once again, part proceeds from the night will benefit both causes.

The Giants are also proud to continue their support of CKNW Orphans’ Fund Pledge Day, taking place on Friday, December 2 this year. Every donation of $98 or more will earn the donor two free Giants tickets, a $10 gift card from White Spot and a $10 gift certificate from Chevron.

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society is another important charity deserving year-round attention, but most importantly during the holiday season. The Giants will host our annual ‘Fill The Rink On Renfrew’ event at our Saturday December 10 game, which encourages fans to bring non-perishable food items and/or baby supplies which go directly to the food bank and such an important time of the year.

Giants’ co-owner Michael Bublé is a proud supporter of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, having donated countless dollars and hours to their cause over the course of his career. With the Giants, Michael has donated a suite for the entire season, which is given to deserving families, volunteers and employees connected with the hospital. As well, Giants players and staff make regular visits to the hospital throughout the season.

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