Leon Draisaitl announced today a $150,000 donation in support of WE in Alberta and Hockey Helps Kids. His donation will be matched at 50% by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), for a total donation of $225,000. This is the first year of an eight-year commitment Draisaitl has made to donate $150,000 annually to local charities. 

“I want to give back to the Edmonton community, because it has given me so much,” said Draisaitl. ”It’s important to me to support youth learning about how to give back and be active in their communities in order to have a positive impact. I have seen the effect Hockey Helps Kids has as a team captain for D. S. MacKenzie School last year. The students were so dedicated to their cause. They were inspiring. WE also encourages youth to get involved and gives them the life skills and experience they need to make a difference. I am happy to support both initiatives, and see the impact they have on youth and our community.”

WE’s celebration of young people leading service, WE Day is an unparalleled celebration of young people committed to making a difference. For the first time, WE Day Alberta will take place in Edmonton on Friday, October 12, 2018.

More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the free, yearlong educational program WE Schools. Providing schools and community groups with curriculum, educational resources and service-based learning campaigns, the program is designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives and spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their curricular learning and develop life skills for success outside the classroom. By participating in WE Schools, students earn their way to attend WE Day events.

This year, WE will team up with Hockey Helps Kids to promote the local programs. Hockey Helps Kids is an innovative philanthropic initiative, co-founded by Chloe and Harrison Katz, children of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) owner Daryl Katz and his wife Renee. This fun and exciting charity competition brings together local junior high schools, charities and the hockey club to give youth a chance to learn about being active, contributing members in their communities, while generating awareness and funds for a variety of local charities.

Through Leon and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation’s commitment, WE Day will engage over 16,000 students and educators in attending WE Day Alberta and WE Schools will be available to even more classrooms across the province, adding to the 975 schools and groups in Alberta that already take part in the program. WE Schools not only motivates students to explore social issues they are passionate about through cause-based curriculum and content, but also guides them through the process to develop an action plan to create meaningful change. In the 2017/2018 school year, youth in Alberta collectively volunteered over 850,000 hours in support of both local and global causes.

“We are incredibly grateful to Leon and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation for their generous donation,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Thanks to them, even more young people across Alberta will join the 4.3 million young people who are already shaping the future they want to see through the WE movement. By taking action through WE Schools and celebrating at WE Day, young Albertans will continue to be unstoppable forces for good. I know Leon’s personal story and dedication to giving back will inspire all 16,000 young change-makers to continue taking action at WE Day Alberta.”

“The ultimate goal of Hockey Helps Kids is to give junior high students the experience and skills needed to get involved in their community, and a desire to continue to be involved and make a difference throughout their lives,” said Chloe Katz, co-founder of Hockey Helps Kids. “The support of influential leaders like Leon Draisaitl has been so important in making Hockey Helps Kids a success, and Harrison and I are excited to see where this program continues to grow because of his ongoing support and our partnership with WE.”

Over the next eight years, Leon Draisaitl will donate $1.2 million to local charities, with the EOCF matching the donations at 50% for a total donation of $1.8 million.