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Hockey equipment being distributed to 40 Indigenous communities

Distribution event taking place Saturday at AMJ Self Storage on Saunders Road in south-end Barrie

Graham McWaters, a local hockey dad from Richmond Hill, started the initial drive for hockey equipment after speaking with families from Beausoleil First Nation at a hockey tournament in Midland in 2015.

After hearing from some Beausoleil families who love hockey but could use better equipment, Graham felt inspired to do something.

In the first year of the equipment accumulation, Graham reached out to his son’s Richmond Hill team for equipment donations, who helped raise eight bags of equipment and numerous hockey sticks. Inspired from the first drive, there have been numerous drives and distributions since, with each growing larger than the last to the point where over 1,000 bags, 150 sets of goalie pads and over 500 sticks were accumulated over the past year.

The plan for the fall of 2022 is to distribute the equipment to 40 Indigenous communities and families from our storage facilities in Barrie and Whitby. In addition, we are shipping hundreds of bags to Sudbury on Oct. 29 for distribution to northern Indigenous communities in that region.

Numerous businesses such as our partners — AMJ Campbell, Bluebird Storage, Bristol Truck Rental, Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario and many hockey associations — were on board this past year. In addition, our sports charity, Their Opportunity, has assisted us with planning, logistics, social media, and the online presence for the cash donations to buy new helmets and support our transportation costs.

Barrie distribution event to 15 Indigenous communities

Saturday, Oct. 15

AMJ Self Storage, 100 Saunders Rd., Barrie

9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For further information please contact Graham McWaters at 416-809-2130 or [email protected].