A Win in Hamilton

There were goals scored on the ice and most importantly off the ice as well.

Zac Rinaldo

The first edition of the Hockey Night in Hamilton fundraiser to assist Food4Kids Hamilton, was considered a success for both the organizers and the charity.

For Hamilton, ON. native, Zac Rinaldo, he was able to assemble an impressive list of NHLers that came to play in the charity game which raised close to $15,000 to support Food4Kids Hamilton.

The event attracted families and people from Hamilton, but there were supporters that came from Kingston, ON and another family that was in attendance all the way from Arizona.

One of the members of the organizing committee, Mark Corbett said he was impressed with the support from the community, generous sponsors and fans that came from across North America, along with the NHL players that participated in the Hockey Night in Hamilton event.

“The feedback from both the fans and the players was very positive,” Corbett said. “This is the first year Zac (Rinaldo) didn’t do a ball hockey tournament, so it was new for his family and other friends that support him. It speaks volumes when you find out that a family made the trip all the way from Arizona. That is just amazing to hear.”

For Rinaldo, it was important to help out others that are in need, right in his hometown of Hamilton.

“I grew up in Hamilton. I still have my family and lots of friends here,” Rinaldo said. “If you have a platform to help people and make your city better, it is important to give back and help others in need.”

Lena Bassford, Executive Director for Food4Kids Hamilton, said the program began in 2012 in the Hamilton area. Currently, the organization is in 60 elementary schools and they provide food for 1,200 children every weekend.

“As we are nourishing these children, there remain 125 children on our waiting list,” Bassford said. “With an event such as Hockey Night in Hamilton all of the funds that are raised will be applied to helping to eliminating that waiting list. We are expecting 50 children to now be involved with Food4Kids, as a result from the amazing partnership we have developed with Zac Rinaldo.”

Bassford is extremely pleased and appreciative for the distinct momentum the event has created for Food4Kids Hamilton this summer.

“The event itself has been positive on so many levels,” Bassford said. “For instance, it has helped in generating such awareness on behalf of the families and children, that we provide our services to. It has provided a voice for them, and letting people know that hunger is a real and tragic issue, not only in the Hamilton community, but right across this country.”

As far as an encore performance for Hockey Night in Hamilton next year, Bassford said she is keeping her fingers crossed and would be honoured to partner with Zac Rinaldo and his group next summer for a second edition.

To learn more about Foods4Kids and their charitable efforts, visit www.food4kids.ca.