Huntsville Hockey Team Wins $100,000 For Food4Kids

The Huntsville Sting U13-Black hockey team after winning the Good Deeds Cup and $100,000 for Food4Kids Muskoka
The Huntsville Sting U13-Black hockey team after winning the Good Deeds Cup. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

A minor hockey team out of Huntsville racked up over 1,300 acts of kindness to bring home $100,000 for Food4Kids Muskoka and a win in the Good Deeds Cup.

The Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup has minor hockey teams perform acts of kindness for the chance to win a cash prize for a local charity. The Huntsville Sting U13-Black hockey team selected Food4Kids Muskoka, which provides food to local children to ensure they have weekends without hunger. The hockey players worked alongside the community and the Food4Kids staff to submit good deeds, which ultimately totalled more than half of the contest’s submissions. The team was announced as the winner during Hockey Night in Canada on March 16.

“This money represents a significant achievement and also allows us to expand our operations one year earlier than originally planned, which will help us feed more kids sooner,” said Sarah Thatcher, executive director at Food4Kids Muskoka. “Beyond the funding though, Food4Kids Muskoka is working hard to encourage a new generation of volunteers and community members who are always looking for ways to help others.”

The Good Deeds Cup was a good chance to further that mission. Their staff worked with the players to pick up litter, donate clothes and more with the hope of inspiring “a movement of goodness and kindness in Muskoka.”  They’re thrilled to see what the Sting players have been able to do.

“It inspired the young girls to see needs in their community and respond to them,” Thatcher said. “That is what we hope for the next generation, and we are excited about what has been started in Huntsville! This is just the beginning and we can’t wait to see what the girls will do next.”

Team manager Sarah Roberts said the town is buzzing after hearing the news. The team, their friends and family, and volunteers at Food4Kids hustled to make it happen, so she wants to give a shoutout to everyone who played a part. 

“Our team and our families, they showed up and their dedication to the challenge was incredible,” she said. “To the community, they also were a huge part of this win, and we would like to thank every single person that supported us by sending in a good deed and helping us to fill the cup.”

The all-girls Huntsville Sting U13-Black team takes home the eighth Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

From the beginning of the season, the coaching staff was looking for ways for the team to bond and develop skills together, on and off the ice. Participating in the Good Deeds Cup was amazing for team bonding and helped them practice hard work, perseverance and dedication as a team, Roberts said.

The team chose Food4Kids as their charity in part because it’s a non-profit that directly helps the player’s peers. The company coordinates with schools to put packages of food into student’s backpacks discreetly every Friday. The girls on the Sting team got a first-hand look at the process when they visited the Food4Kids Muskoka’s office to volunteer and assemble food packages.

“It is such a good feeling to know that we have been able to support them, both with the $100,000 that we know will go a long way as well as with the community recognition that they’re getting being a new charity,” Roberts said. “Just having their name out there is going to have a huge impact on what they’re able to do for other families in our community in the upcoming years, so we’re beyond proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Roberts was in on the news before the rest of the team, so she helped coordinate a grand reveal for the players. She told the team they were heading to the Active Living Centre for a photo shoot. When they arrived, they went around back to find cameras and a convoy of vehicles with decals for the Huntsville Sting and the Good Deeds Cup championship. A bus announcing their win came down the hill, and when they read it, the team went wild.

“[I have] no words to describe how I felt in that moment,” said player Piper Heffernan. “We were shocked and speechless!”

As part of the win, the team got to tour the Hockey Night in Canada studio where they met sportscaster Ron MacLean and former hockey player Kevin Bieksa. The team also enjoyed the penthouse at Hotel X, visited an arcade and watched the Toronto Maple Leafs game, including the announcement of their win, in a private theatre. 

Heffernan said every part of the trip was amazing. For her and her teammates, knowing they’ve been able to help their community is the core of what made it so great.

“It feels really good to be able to help out kids and their families who really need food,” she said.

The players still feel like movie stars, Roberts said. Being a Canada-wide contest in its eighth year, she is shocked by the lack of knowledge surrounding the competition. She knows that the Huntsville Sting has helped put it on the radar for local teams, so she’s hopeful they’ll be able to support another Huntsville hockey team in next year’s challenge.

“I think that this will have a lifelong impact on our players and I think it will have a lifelong impact on our community, not just with the money for Food4Kids,” she said. “The recognition of how easy it is to do a small act of kindness that brings joy to somebody’s day has been brought out to the forefront with this challenge, and I do think it’s been a win-win for everybody.”


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