A pair of recent events put on by Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region has generated over $300,000 for six shelter partners.
Cambridge Shelter Corporation, OneRoof, House of Friendship, Lutherwood, YW of K-W and The Working Centre are all set to receive just north of $50,000 in donations thanks to a country music night fundraiser and charity hockey tournament held last month.
The dollar amount marks the most ever raised by the organization which was fuelled by excellent numbers at both events.
Over 300 people turned out to the country music concert that was headlined by Alabama and Zac Brown Band cover bands. At the hockey tournament, 256 players on 17 teams obtained over 2,000 donations.
"Given the well documented changes that many charitable events are facing in today's economic climate, both the participants and our charity partners were thrilled and amazed that we were able to increase the amount we're donating," Craig Herner, committee member for Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region said.
"It's a real testament to the efforts of our players and volunteers."
In the 10 years the tournament has been put on, HHTH Waterloo Region has raised $2,203,000 for local shelters.
Wayne Paddick, executive director of the Cambridge Shelter Corp, is grateful for the support of the organization, its volunteers and the community.
"I was pleased but not surprised," Paddick said of the final amount.
"Rob Way and his team at HHTH Waterloo Region are simply amazing, so for them to hit this milestone it’s not surprising."
Paddick said the funds will go to good use supporting the shelter's programming, mental health supports, its identification clinic, housing initiatives and needs, as well as its kitchen services.
Fundraisers such as the music night and hockey tournament are critical to the shelter's operations, especially over the past few years.
"Since the beginning of COVID these funds are more important than ever," Paddick said.
"As we look to expand what we do and how we do it, solidifying our financial footing is vitally important."
As for what's next for HHTH Waterloo Region, Herner said there's already been interest expressed in another music night and the organization will continue to explore ways to support those in need through the annual tournament and other potential initiatives.
"Our message is simple, yes we've had a successful 10 year run, but in no way is that enough," he said.
"It's clear that Hockey Helps the Homeless Waterloo Region and our supporters need to continue to grow the amount of funds we donate because our shelter partners absolutely need us to."