Thinking back to the summer of 2010, it seems like so much has happened since Five Hole for Food’s (FHFF) inaugural tour where Vic and I grabbed some hockey sticks, headed to Montreal to start a nine-city, eleven-day journey, which saw us raised 6,000 pounds of food for food banks across Canada.
Last summer we visited the very East Coast for the first time and Canadians from St. John’s to Vancouver came together to help us raise nearly 45,000 pounds. Now faced with another trip ahead of us, things are more exciting than ever as we gear up for a third tour across Canada. 11,000 kilometers, 19 days, 13 cities, 5 people, 1 epic trip to fight hunger across the country.
With a year’s worth of incredibly hard work put into this iteration of the tour, we had to step up our game. We had to take things to the next level and so we didn’t just want to raise more food than last year. We wanted to obliterate that total. As we kick things off in St. John’s, Newfoundland, it’s time to highlight how giving Canadians are and use the game we love to bring a nation together to make a difference. July 3rd to July 21st will mark the third annual FHFF tour and our quest to raise over 100,000 pounds of food for food banks across Canada and we can’t wait to have you join us!
You can join us in St. John’s, Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria or Vancouver. And if you can’t make it out, you can donate online.
To follow the trip and live every second of it with us as we go coast-to-coast:
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.
When Richard Loat and the Five Hole for Food crew landed in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the first things they did were to visit Cape Spear, the very eastern-most point in North America,dip a hockey stick in the Atlantic Ocean, and then get screeched in. With these symbolic acts, the second Five Hole for Food tour kicked off.
Last year’s inaugural tour was a great success – FHFF, a series of street hockey games played in various cities across the country to raise food and food bank awareness for the local food banks, raised 6,000 lbs. of food in 2010 – and this year is even bigger.
Richard says, “It’s almost been surreal how things have grown but it’s been a pretty great ride. Last we travelled between 9 cities in 11 days, this year the trip has expanded to 13 cities over 17 days as we start in St. John’s and add a Maritimes portion to our event. On top of that we’ve grown from a team of volunteers that numbered 3 people last year, to 40 people across the country that help make this happen.”
With a bigger event, FHFF’s goals are loftier as well – they want to raise 20,000 lbs. of food in 2011.
Richard has spent much of the last 12 months getting ready for this, “The big difference for us has been time. Last year from conception to execution we had 3 months to plan the trip. This year with a full year we’ve had the time to build in a lot more cool elements.”
Among those elements include a partnership with Hootsuite, where the crew is taking Owly across the country with them, and a Yelp challenge, in which local Yelp teams in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver will compete to see who can raise the most food.
Beside Hootsuite and Yelp, many in the corporate community have also stepped up to help the cause. “The corporate community has been great. The hockey fans behind each of our partners has been so generous and it’s the reason a trip like this can happen,” Richard is proud to point out. “Chevrolet Canada has shipped an Equinox to St. John’s for us, TELUS is taking care of our communications support, and without our returning presenting sponsor Molson Canadian we wouldn’t be able to do this. What’s been great as well has been the corporate giving where our sponsors London Drugs and Canadian Pacific have also stepped up to give a donation to the food banks on our behalf on top of their partnership.”
And of course, FHFF, which was built using mainly social media channels, wouldn’t be what it is without various fans and bloggers, “In each city we reach out to bloggers and to number them would be impossible.”
Richard adds that there are many details of the trip done by fans and bloggers in each of the cities, “We’re constantly growing in each city and the buzz on Twitter alone has people excited for us to make it out to their city.
It’s a lot of work, but Richard is quick to note that it’s for a good cause. While food banks need the community’s support year-round, that need is especially higher during the summer months. It’s the reason Richard behind Five Hole for Food. And being a huge hockey fan, the fact that he gets to play hockey while helping the food banks is a huge bonus. Obviously, other hockey fans, regardless of what team or teams they support, feel the same.
“The reception has been tremendous and everyone loves the idea. It’s incredibly unique, rewarding and validating to see fans of all loyalties shed their colours and come together under one sport for one cause,” says Richard. “I think one of my favourite moments was seeing a 6 year old kid break open his piggy bank and donate his entire savings and worth to the food bank at Five Hole for Food because he saw us on TV and wanted to make a difference. It was the most genuine act of kindness and it’s moments like that which fuel me to continue my work.”
For that, food banks from coast-to-coast – and this year’s tour is truly coast-to-coast – are grateful.
3:00 – 3:45 PM (Rink 2): Canucks Hockey Blog vs. Pass It To Bulis
4:00 – 4:45 PM (Rink 2): Canucks Corner vs. Head to the Net
5:00 – 5:45 PM (Rink 1): Canucks Corner vs. Canucks Hockey Blog
5:00 – 5:45 PM (Rink 2): Pass It To Bulis vs. Head to the Net
Each blog is only required to provide 4 players, after which the rosters will be filled by anyone who wants to join in… so come out, bring a stick and join us if you can. No experience is required. We’re playing purely for fun, and ultimately, we simply hope to relive the magic of the 2010 Winter Games and hopefully help a good cause.
It is not a well known fact, but the moment that inspired the birth of Five Hole for Food was actually a game during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Amidst the widespread patriotism and 14 days of straight celebration it was a road hockey game that planted a seed that would one day grow to be a cross-Canada trip.
During the Olympics there was a ball hockey game played outside the Molson Canadian Hockey House. To the left was a giant screen on the side of the Ontario Pavilion which broadcast the Women’s Gold Medal hockey game. To the right was the Hockey House itself and it was there in a court that 25 guys got together to play a Team Red vs. Team White Olympic Road Hockey game. As Canada’s women won the gold medal, so ended our game as well and the number of people that had walked by and asked to get involved just demonstrated the power of hockey in Canada as the ultimate ice breaker, and one of the strongest bonds we all share as Canadians.
When we heard that they were shutting down Granville to try and recreate some of those Olympic memories we were first to ask about the road hockey. Lets be honest, it wouldn’t really be a commemorative street party if there wasn’t any road hockey now would it?
On February 12th we’ve teamed up with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association to bring back to Granville one of the things that made it so special when the Olympics were in town. Remember the pick up games of road hockey that would break out in the middle of the street? The goals that would just appear and the group of guys that would start playing hockey just because the sport is that awesome? Well it’s coming back and we want you to come out! We’re recreating Center Ice on Granville!
Come and join us as we commemorate the first anniversary of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games on Granville Street and join us in a game of hockey. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society will be on site collecting donations so bring your hockey stick, don’t forget your red and white and get in the action!
By now, you’ve hopefully heard of Five Hole For Food, a cross-country food fundraiser organized by CHB’s own Richard Loat. If you haven’t, here’s the trailer:
Finally the puck drops tonight just outside of Montreal with the beneficiary being the NDG Food Depot. With a lot of help from Kyle Roussel of Cow Hide and Rubber fame, the Habs organization (who donated a team-signed stick to give away), and numerous other sponsors, friends and fellow bloggers, the game should be a good time… and all for a good cause!
Some of you may have noticed my absence from the blog lately, and it’s because there’s something very exciting in the works. I’m organizing an event called Five Hole for Food. I’m driving from Montreal to Vancouver playing road hockey in the two aforementioned cities as well as Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria, raising food for local food banks.
The trip spans nine cities in eleven days and sees us start in Montreal on June 29th and ending in Vancouver on July 9th. We’re proudly backed by Molson Canadian as our presenting sponsor and Boston Pizza and I couldn’t be more excited to be playing hockey across this beautiful country.
As we go from city to city we’re looking for people to play and with that in mind if you’re a reader of this blog in any of the cities we’re visiting I would love to meet you and have you play in our game.
As a neat addition and extra Canucks twist we’re very proud to have partnered with “King” Richard Brodeur as a celebrity ambassador of our event and couldn’t be more excited, and humbled, to have the Canucks legend not only support our event but be a part of our team!