The Calgary Flames are committed to our community both on and off the ice. Over the course of the 2018-19 season, many players have been busy developing new commitments to charities and initiatives or enhancing programs they have been personally aligned with for several years.
Through pro-active community relations, the Calgary Flames endeavour to develop and implement impactful and high profile initiatives while establishing relationships with schools, youth sports, minor hockey and other charitable foundations. While all Flames players continue to give back to the community through team programs, below is a list of the many players who take charitable giving to the next level. In keeping with this tradition of giving, the Calgary Flames Foundation continues to match all personal financial donations made by players up to $25,000.
In addition to the personal initiatives listed below, all of the Flames are involved in numerous charitable efforts across our city by attending various activities at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and fundraising events such as Flames Charity Poker and the Flames Charity Golf Tournament. Players also donate their time to educational initiatives and minor hockey such as Reading Give it a Shot, Flames @ School, Flames EvenStrength and the Flames Novice programs.
2018-2019 FLAMES PLAYERS INITIATIVES
MIKAEL BACKLUND – THE ALS SOCIETY OF ALBERTA
Mikael Backlund continues to align himself with the ALS Society of Alberta, an organization near to both Backlund and his wife Frida’s hearts. In partnership with KPMG, Backlund will donate $200 for every point earned this season to the ALS Society of Alberta which is matched by KPMG and the Flames Foundation. He also acts as a spokesperson for the organization, attending events and promoting their cause. Each month, Mikael and Frida invite two families who are dealing with ALS, to a Flames home game where they will receive lower bowl seats along with a post-game meet and greet with Mikael. Backlund also has a close relationship with both the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and Special Olympics Calgary and will continue to support them by attending various events and donating tickets. Last season Mikael and Frida raised $80,000 for the ALS Society through their Uncorked for ALS event.
SAM BENNETT – BROWN BAGGING FOR CALGARY’S KIDS
Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett, in partnership with Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK), Subway and the Calgary Flames Foundation has launched a unique community initiative to ensure every student in Calgary has a lunch at school. The fifth-year Flame is set on a mission to raise awareness and funds to help feed Calgary’s kids who would otherwise go without. Bennett proudly aligned with BB4CK as an official ambassador of the charity and alongside the Calgary Flames Foundation, donating $70,000 last year to the cause that helped feed over 4,400 children in 224 schools every school day.
T.J. BRODIE – SKATE IN STRIDES
T.J. Brodie continues to grow his Skate In Strides initiative alongside CARSTAR Collision and Glass Service in support of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Canada. This season Brodie has created custom Skate in Strides branded Calgary Flames hats with all proceeds being matched by Brodie, CARSTAR and the Calgary Flames Foundation in support of CF, inspired by Brodie’s cousin who has CF. These limited edition hats will be sold at Calgary Flames FanAttic stores, CARSTAR Calgary locations and online at flamesport.com. Since its inception in 2014, Brodie’s Skate In Strides initiative has raised over $250,000 in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
AUSTIN CZARNIK – HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE
Flames newcomer, Austin Czarnik represents the Calgary Flames as their Hockey is for Everyone (HIFE) Ambassador this year. As an NHL and NHLPA initiative, through various platforms Austin will reach out to underrepresented communities in Calgary and surrounding area. This includes being a part of Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) which is a volunteer-driven charity that uses the game of ice hockey to teach life-skills and empower marginalized youth.
JOHNNY GAUDREAU – KIDSPORT CALGARY
Gaudreau initiated a partnership with KidSport Calgary in 2017 and has continued donating $1,000 for every goal he scores to KidSport Calgary this season. Last season Johnny donated $24,000, which was matched by the Flames Foundation for a total of $48,000. KidSport, with support from Iconic Electric and Controls and Canadian Pacific Railway recently launched a new donation page this year that can be found at www.goalsforkids.ca. Along with the donation, in partnership with Remington Development Corporation, Johnny host’s children from low-income families in a suite at select home games this season that will include the opportunity to meet Gaudreau after the game.
MARK GIORDANO – TEAM GIO
Mark Giordano and his wife Lauren continue to partner with the Calgary Board of Education on their Team Gio community program. The initiative provides resources to four low-income Calgary schools to assist in meeting student needs and support personal student development. The funding supports the purchase of new computers, floor hockey equipment and school supplies. As a way to help students create and achieve their own goals, every student in each Team Gio school is provided support through five videos of Mark describing the “5 G’s” that he believes are the keys to success in all walks of life. Now in its sixth season, Team Gio in partnership with Pizza 73 and the Calgary Italian Open, has donated $500,000 to its four schools, impacting the lives of 1,900 students.
TRAVIS HAMONIC – D-PARTNER PROGRAM, THE NORTHERN PROJECT and CHARLIE’S CHILDREN
Travis Hamonic continues his efforts off the ice in supporting children who have lost a parent unexpectedly through “Hamonic’s D-Partner” program alongside MEG Energy. The Flames defenceman first created the initiative seven years ago in honour of his father, who passed away when he was 10-years old. During most Flames home games, Hamonic invites a family to attend a game. As his guest, they watch the action from Hamonic’s personal seats. Following the game, the guest(s) meet Hamonic, take pictures, and receive autographs. What sets this initiative apart from others is he sits down with each family as they share stories about their lost family member(s) and how they are and have coped with the situation.
Prior to the start of the 2017/18 season, the native of St. Malo, Manitoba expanded his philanthropy by creating The Northern Project, which sees Indigenous children from the Canadian territories visit Calgary for a weekend on an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of the Hamonic’s. Being Métis, Travis holds his roots very close to his heart and through this, provides children and their families an opportunity that otherwise may not be able to experience. Throughout the season, the Hamonic’s will host a deserving child(s) and their parent(s). Travis and his wife Stephanie work with Hockey North to receive nominations for kids that deserve the chance to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Travis and his wife Stephanie recently announced a new community initiative titled Charlie’s Children. With support from the Calgary Flames Foundation, Women In Need Society (WINS) and West Coast Kids, Charlie’s Children will provide low income families or single parents expecting a newborn with resources and supplies. After the birth of their first child, Charlie, Stephanie and Travis wanted to help other new families and parents with the costs and needs associated with becoming a parent and preparing for a child. Funding for this initiative has been provided by the Hamonic’s and are matched by the Calgary Flames Foundation. Funds will be directed to WINS for the purchase of newborn necessities for eligible families.
SEAN MONAHAN – RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES SOUTHERN ALBERTA and BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
As an ambassador of the Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southern Alberta, Sean Monahan will donate tickets and make regular visits to the house. Along with the tickets, the selected child and their family will have the opportunity to meet Sean following the game. Last season Monahan donated $20,000 to the Ronald McDonald House.
Sean is also once again supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters All-Stars for Kids campaign presented by Qualico. This season he has once again donated his personal tickets, a meet and greet after the game and $250 per goal which is matched my Qualico and the Calgary Flames Foundation for a total of $750 per goal.
JAMES NEAL – CALGARY POLICE FOUNDATION ‘POWERPLAY HOCKEY PROGRAM’
James has partnered with the Calgary Police Foundation ‘Power Play’ Program by making appearances as well as inviting kids to watch Flames games from his personal seats and meeting them after the game. The Power Play Program is a free, weekly drop-in skate that engages 70 – 100 youth, ages six to 17, and gives them the opportunity to learn how to skate and learn basic hockey skills while interacting with Calgary Police officers in a safe and supportive environment.
MATTHEW TKACHUK – THE ALBERTA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Matthew Tkachuk is donating his time this season to the Alberta Children’s Hospital by making surprise visits each month. On top of his personal room-to room visits he will also attend numerous Alberta Children’s Hospital Events and has donated his personal Flames tickets to help raise funds for the Hospital.
About the Calgary Flames Foundation
The Calgary Flames Foundation strives to improve the lives of southern Albertans through the support of health and wellness, education, and amateur and grassroots sports initiatives. Since inception, the Calgary Flames Foundation has invested over $32 million back into Southern Alberta through various charities and projects. We fund ongoing commitments to our community including the recent $2.0 million donation to Calgary Minor Hockey to help fund programs like the Flames Even Strength, assistance for families who cannot afford registration fees, as well as the $1.0 million donation to the Rotary Flames House, a hospice for families who have children with life-limiting illnesses.