Companies team up to support non-profit organization to help at-risk youth
YOUTH participating in the local Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) celebrated a win on Monday – the opportunity to continue playing hockey and to continue receiving leadership training and mentoring. Thanks to the generosity of Fraser Grain Terminal and Fraser Surrey Docks, HEROS will have operational funding for the next three years.
HEROS’ mission is to use ice hockey to teach life-skills and empower at-risk youth. HEROS provides opportunities for personal growth through sport training, educational development, and scholarships.
Fraser Surrey Docks, Fraser Grain Terminal, and HEROS hosted a by invitation only celebratory event for HEROS participants at Fraser Surrey Docks.
“This donation of $150,000 from Fraser Grain Terminal and Fraser Surrey Docks speaks volumes about their support for the communities in which they operate,” said Norm Flynn, Executive Director, HEROS.
The event was a great way to kick off the season with the kids and some NHL Alumni and Harnarayan Singh from Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi Edition attended.
HEROS provides free programs to youth of all backgrounds from a grade four level up to post-secondary, with free programs such as conflict resolution, drug awareness, addiction prevention, first aid training, financial literacy, hockey coaching, and referee training.
“This funding allows us to focus on what’s important – the kids,” said Kevin Hodgson, Operational Manager, HEROS. “Our goal is to give them tools to succeed.”
HEROS works closely with Community-School Partnership (C-SP), a department within the Surrey School district that develops and provides extended learning and enrichment activities beyond school hours.
C-SP provides a continuum of student support between family, school, and the community.
“The HEROS Hockey program helps our district achieve an important objective to support students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to hockey and who benefit from the structured, fun and positive environment the program brings to them,” said Rani Gandham, Community Manager, C-SP.
By working to reduce employment barriers and ensuring participants develop professional skills such as resume writing, interview skills, personal presentation training, and networking or vocational opportunities like this event – HEROS guides its participants to become constructive citizens and future community leaders.
Since beginning operations in 2016, the Surrey HEROS chapter has worked with more than 40 kids. One of those participants is 12-year-old Evan Burgess.
“HEROS teaches us to be role models for our community, to help others out if they are struggling, to talk with them and ask how you can help them,” said Burgess.
Suleyman El Hassan, age 12, recently immigrated to Canada from Syria and credits his involvement with HEROS with helping him settle into a new country. “I was having trouble making friends as I didn’t speak English. HEROS helped me make friends, it helped me feel Canadian,” said El Hassan.
Vice President of West Coast Operations for Parrish & Heimbecker and Fraser Grain Terminal Project Lead Casey McCawley is also a co-founder of HEROS. He is encouraging other business and community members to get involved and to donate.
“Businesses like to see good return on investment and HEROS delivers. HEROS has a proven track record of providing positive mentorship at a critical age, supporting kids to be involved in their community and stay in school.”
“We believe that community strength comes from working together, and this event will provide an excellent avenue to do so,” said Jeff Scott, CEO & President, Fraser Surrey Docks. “HEROS players will receive an ‘up close’ understanding of our facility and the many jobs our organization provides. This exposure may spark job interest and encourage career planning.”
“A great success would be to see a kid aspire to be a railroad engineer, a heavy machinery operator, a logistics manager or the captain of a sea going vessel. It takes only a spark to ignite a dream and these opportunities exist in the heart of Surrey,” said McCawley.
Additional information about HEROS is available at: http://onemillionskates.com/heroshockey/about/