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HELPERS: Bradford hockey players raise money to install AED at Henderson Park

The She Shoots She Saves campaign closing ceremony was held on Saturday, but donations will be accepted online until the end of this week to raise money for public defibrillators
Bradford player Sammy, helped to raise money for the AEDs in the She Shoots She Saves campaign

A new AED has been installed at Henderson Memorial Park in Bradford as part of the She Shoots She Saves campaign, launched by the Central York Girls Hockey Association (CYGHA). 

The CYGHA officially wrapped up their fundraiser, which raises money to purchase automated external defibrillators (AED) for public places in York-Simcoe.  The official closing campaign ceremony was held in Newmarket this past weekend. 

In the second year of the She Shoots She Saves campaign, 210 athletes participated with teams and coaches from across the CYGHA taking part. 

Eleven-year-old Sammy from Bradford is one of the players who helped raise $300 for the cause, with donations from her family, friends and teachers. 

"We set a goal and practiced shooting pucks in a net to raise awareness of AEDs," she said. "I took part because I watched my sister and her team do it and it inspired me."

Sammy said she was very proud when she saw the AED installed at Henderson Memorial Park. 

"It could help save someone I know. That's a big deal," she said. 

"It was a way to help the community during a time that everybody could use a little bit of help, bring the girls together and give them that sense of team and hockey and friendship that they kind of missed out on during COVID," said Patricia Murphy, one of the directors of the association. 

With COVID restrictions easing up this season, “participation has gone up, we’ve had over 91,000 shots taken,” said Murphy. "It's been amazing."

In total, the association has been able to purchase a total of seven AEDs, which are located in Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill and Bradford.

As an incentive to raise the most amount of money, the winning team gets to have their photos put on the back of the AED Save Station. Each tower costs around $8,000 to install. 

Murphy is appreciative of the support from the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, who "upped the ante", by adding a bit more money to have the free-standing tower installed at Henderson Park, which makes the AED accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

This year, so far they have raised $14,110, which will buy two AEDs. Their original goal for the campaign is $20,000 which would allow them to get one more defibrillator. 

Murphy said even if they don’t hit that goal, the campaign is “100 per cent a success.” However, the online donation page will remain open until the end of this week in hopes they will reach their goal. 

“It’s definitely a success. Even just the lessons the girls have learned about community,” she said. “It’s a great initiative and I think it really teaches them about community and giving back.” 

The Association plans to do an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the AED at Henderson Park this summer. 

-with files from Elizabeth Keith

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Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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