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Pro-am tourney returns to Newmarket in battle against homelessness

November 28, 2023

Posted on: November 25th, 2023. By: NewmarketToday Staff,, Original Article.

Dec. 15 Hockey Helps the Homeless tournament at Magna Centre aims to raise more than $300,000 for Blue Door and 360°kids

Hundreds of residents and more than 15 NHL and Olympian alumni are taking to the ice to help prevent and end homelessness in York Region.

The annual pro-am Hockey Helps the Homeless tournament is returning to the Magna Centre in Newmarket Friday, Dec. 15, providing hockey enthusiasts with an opportunity to lace up their skates to raise awareness and funds for Blue Door and 360°kids.

Players, sponsors and supporters are uniting with the shared goal of raising more than $300,000 to provide life-changing services and support to hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in York Region.

Hockey Helps the Homeless, Blue Door, and 360°kids recognize the importance of addressing the crisis of homelessness head-on, firmly believing that every Canadian should have a safe place to call home and the necessary support to thrive, organizer said in a news release.

“These are some of the most challenging times for all of us, but even more for our most vulnerable. The funds raised from this tournament are crucial in supporting Blue Door to create the deeply needed affordable housing that will lead to preventing and ending homelessness across our region,” said Michael Braithwaite, CEO of Blue Door.

The 2023 tournament will support the re-development of Blue Door’s Kevin’s Place, which addresses the pressing need to strengthen community services for people experiencing homelessness. The re-development will result in a 14-unit townhouse complex providing supportive housing for individuals and families to transition to permanent housing.

“The tournament is a fun way to get involved in being part of the solution to ending homelessness, while enjoying an incredible day of our nation’s past time,” Braithwaite added. “If you can skate and love to play hockey, I encourage you to take part. If skating is not your thing, volunteer for the day of the event, or sponsor one of the skaters – like me. It’s a great way to show our community we truly care about people most in need.”

The national charity, which began in York Region in 1996, runs tournaments to support local charities across Canada. With custom jerseys, beer gardens, and an after-party, participants are treated like pros and have the opportunity to play in a three-game tournament alongside NHL alumni.

The 2023 York Region event will include Ric Jackman, Al Iafrate, Todd Warriner, and many more.

“We’re incredibly excited for this year’s event and can’t thank the York Region community enough for stepping up the way they have to support the cause,” said Trevor Anniss, co-ordinator of hockey operations at Hockey Helps the Homeless. “From volunteering and fundraising, to spreading awareness, these are tools that foster change in the lives of so many. Thank you to all our 2023 sponsors, committee members, players, volunteers, pros and community in making this day possible. You are all game changers.”