More than 50 people attended the Skates for Kids collection party kickoff at Don Cherry's in Port Colborne on Tuesday. Front row: Bianca Lariccia and Ryan Anderson, both of St. Therese Catholic Elementary School. Middle row: Scott Nuccitelli and Faith Ruber of St. Elizabeth Catholic Elementary School, Nicholas Lindblad of St. Therese and Lauren Nuccitelli of St. Elizabeth. Back row: Meghan Wing of St. Elizabeth, Mayor Vance Badawey, Niagara IceDogs mascot Bones and John DiLorenzo, newly drafted to the OHL.
PORT COLBORNE - “It takes a community to raise a child and our community has certainly come forward to do that.”
That’s what St. Therese Catholic Elementary School principal Bonnie Tkac-Feetham said as she thanked the community for coming together to support area students through Skates for Kids.
PenFinancial, Sun Media and Fort Erie Credit Union hosted a skate collection kickoff party Tuesday afternoon at Don Cherry’s in Port Colborne.
More than 50 people attended the launch to ring in the fourth season of collecting gently used ice skates for elementary schools in low-income areas in Niagara.
This year the program has grown to include four schools: St. Therese in Port Colborne, St. Elizabeth Catholic Elementary School in Wainfleet, Crystal Beach Public School in Fort Erie and Prince of Wales Public School in Thorold.
More schools means more skates. PenFinancial Skates for Kids program co-ordinator Josh Juhlke said there is a need to raise almost $20,000 for 650 CSA approved helmets and to drum up 650 pairs of ice skates.
He’s confident there won’t be a problem.
“If you walk into any of our branches you’ll see a raffle or a draw or something going on to raise money,” he said. “Every one of our employees get involved and our community partners really us a lot.”
Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey to the kickoff brought a bag full of old skates his children had outgrown.
“I know first hand how important it is for young people to grow on the ice,” he said.
Skates can be dropped off at any PenFinancial Credit Union, at The Tribune, Niagara Falls Review, The Standard, Front Row Sport locations, Silvestri Sports, Powerplay Sports, M.T. Bellies, Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, and Port Cares.
Through Skates for Kids, more than 1,800 pairs of gently used skates and more than 300 helmets have been donated to Niagara schools.