Monday, January 25, 2010

Georges Laraque and NHLPA Team-Up With World Vision for Hockey for Haiti Initiative

MONTREAL/TORONTO – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and veteran NHL player, Georges Laraque, have partnered with World Vision to support the people of Haiti through the Hockey for Haiti project. To launch the players’ relief support for Haiti, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund is beginning the initiative with an initial donation of $100,000 to Hockey for Haiti, through World Vision.

"World Vision is proud to stand with Georges, the NHLPA and hockey fans around the country to respond to this catastrophe. I've just come back from Port-au-Prince and the scale of the devastation is just overwhelming. World Vision has been in Haiti for 30 years and we are committed to help rebuild and restore the lives of children and their families for the long-term. Whatever you can give, know that your contribution makes a tremendous difference," said Dave Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision Canada.

In order to raise even more funds and encourage fan participation in this initiative, the NHLPA will be hosting an online auction – beginning on Monday, January 25th – through its website,, which will feature unique memorabilia donated by the NHLPA and its members. The auction, which is expected to last more than a month, will feature such unique items as Winter Classic jerseys worn by stars such as Pavel Datsyuk, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Pronger and Brent Seabrook. Other items will include autographed Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin jerseys, autographed game-used sticks from Scott Gomez and Andrei Markov, as well as numerous framed autographed photos of NHL players. Many more one-of-a-kind memorabilia items will be added throughout the auction, and will also encourage and enable fans and players to make a financial contribution directly to the Hockey for Haiti project through an online link to the World Vision website.

“The people of Haiti, including my family and friends, have been through so much devastation since the earthquake hit their country,” said Laraque. “The NHLPA donation will help World Vision strengthen Haiti’s ability to provide critical healthcare and medical care, which the Haitian people desperately need more of after the destruction.”

Laraque, whose family in Haiti has been directly impacted by this earthquake, added: “I'm extremely proud that the hockey community, including NHL players and fans, are uniting through Hockey for Haiti to make significant contributions toward this cause. Please open up your heart to these people. This is our chance to do something big to help a nation rebuild itself.”

The NHLPA is enthusiastically supporting Laraque in the players’ initiative to raise money for this World Vision relief effort. Laraque has also sent a personal note to his fellow NHL players, requesting their support, and the NHLPA has posted all pertinent information on its players-only intranet site for players to get involved in Hockey for Haiti.

"The NHLPA, together with Georges Laraque, is proud to support the players' efforts to help rebuild Haiti through an important partnership with World Vision," said Devin Smith, Chairman of NHLPA Goals & Dreams. "The recent earthquake in Haiti has affected Georges personally, and the tragedy itself has touched us all. We believe that we can work together toward a common goal of building Haiti's capacity to deliver essential medical and healthcare thanks to the commitment and compassion of NHL players and fans."

The earthquake, the most devastating to hit in 200 years, has affected roughly three million men, women and children. World Vision is on the ground with 800 staff providing emergency relief to thousands of the survivors. World Vision is urging Canadians to remember that almost 40% per cent of the Haitian population is under the age of 14.

To learn more about the entire Hockey for Haiti initiative, log-on to on World Vision’s website.

Source: HockeyFights

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