After 17 days of driving across the great country that is Canada and raising more than 30,000 lbs of food donations for local food banks in 12 different cities, Richard Loat and the Five Hole for Food crew are finally back in BC and gearing up for their big finale on Granville St. on Saturday, July 9.
Quite simply, the 2011 Five Hole for Food tour has been a rousing success.
“Personally it’s just been an incredibly journey to see how far we’ve been able to come since starting the organization a mere 15 months ago,” Richard says. “It’s humbling and validating to see so many people come together and I’m just thankful that I have the opportunity to take my passions and give back to not only my community but communities across Canada.”
It’s been quite a memorable journey.
After their first stop, they almost missed the ferry from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, but what could have set their schedule back badly after only one city quickly turned into a positive. Richard explains, ” I had to call the ship’s captain to request he hold the boat. From there we played hockey on the helipad of his vessel in the middle of the Atlantic and it was easily one of the coolest things I’ve done.”
And they’ve received many positive comments everywhere they’ve gone, “There have been nothing but rave reviews from city to city as we share the sport we love to give back. I think what people love the most is that it’s such a simple concept and that they can give back while doing something fun. Dads bring out their sons, boys and girls put aside “cooties” to have some fun, and co-workers get a chance to spend time together they otherwise wouldn’t get to. It’s been nothing but smiles and excitement for us to bring the tour back next year.”
But that’s next year. For now, the crew is in Victoria today before finishing up in downtown Vancouver tomorrow.
“Saturday’s game is going to be a lot of fun. We’re taking over the 800 block and setting up three rinks. The VIP game is going to have BC Lions player Dante Marsh and Olympian Justin Kripps amongst others. There are a few others being confirmed but it’s sure to be a great time. We’ve got bloggers and the who’s who in social media joining us as well as the storied Wellwoods!”
And for everything FHFF has accomplished so far, they’re expecting much, much more from Vancouverites, “Vancouver’s a generous city and after several cities topped their record of 3,000 lbs of food raised last year, I’m excited to see Vancouver respond and reclaim their title as best food raising city.”
After the game, they also have a Tweetup planned for all the participants. Richard teases us a bit, “The Tweetup is just a chance to celebrate the end of the tour and share stories of the trip with everyone.” To help keep the tour going next year, they’ll also be auctioning unique items such as: a behind-the-scenes tour of the Global TV studios with Sophie Lui, a team-signed Hayley Wickenheiser game-used stick, some hockey tickets and other swag from teams like the Abbotsford Heat.”
So bring your hockey stick and a food donation and head out and join us. Tomorrow’s event starts at 12:00 noon at the 800 block of Granville St, and benefits the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. For more details, go to the Five Hole for Food website at: http://www.fiveholeforfood.com/vancouver.