UNITED WITH LAVAL, ON AND OFF THE ICE
The Rocket has donated over $150 000 to the Laval community this season
LAVAL (April 26, 2023) – Have you had the chance to see the Laval Rocket players in person? Whether in the arena or outside its doors, the Rocket is proud to be a part of Laval’s flourishing community.
Since its inaugural season, the Rocket has been committed to Laval. On the ice, players work to be a team the city is proud to root for; off the ice, our mission is the same. Whether at Place Bell, local hospitals, or schools, the Rocket plays for their fans.
It is well known that the main mission of the team is to help the rookies of the Montreal Canadiens to improve their skills to allow them to shine in the National Hockey League in the bleu-blanc-rouge uniform. However, the identity of the team is strongly linked to its unity with the city in which it plays.
Off the rink, the team aims to play a key role in the community by supporting various non-profit organizations and foundations. Sports can be a source of encouragement for many, as evidenced by the Rocket’s immense social engagement. Through various programs and initiatives, the team hopes to further increase their involvement in the community.
During the Rocket’s six seasons, the team donated more than $700,000 to several non-profit organizations in Laval and the surrounding areas. Donations are made possible through the 50-50 lottery on game days, as well as the ticket and merchandise donation program. Several school boards in the region, as well as several organizations such as Moisson Laval, the Fondation de la Cité-de-la-Santé and the CHU Sainte-Justine are just a few examples of organizations associated with the Rocket.
The Rocket’s partnership with the Service de police de Laval (SPL) remains a source of great pride for the team. Together, the organizations picked up teddy bears during the Teddy Bear Toss game on December 10. A few teddy bears were then given by the Rocket players to the patients of the Cité-de-la-Santé in Laval. The union of Rocket and SPL furthers their shared mission: to create a safe and welcoming environment for all. More than 30 local non-profit organizations received the 8,845 teddy bears that were thrown onto the ice during this game.
During the 2022-2023 season, the Rocket visited six schools as part of its Read for Fun program presented by Bell. Players such as Alex Belzile, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Joël Teasdale had the chance to visit young elementary school students to talk to them about their academic journey and read them a story. The Rocket’s collaboration with local schools is an integral part of the team’s commitment to future generations.
During the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank, Anthony Richard and Alex Belzile, as well as Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Barracuda) and Max Lajoie (Chicago Wolves) participated in a community activity. The four players skated with 40 kids at the Bleu Blanc Bouge exterior rink in Laval. In collaboration with the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, the players helped the children in their development on the ice. The AHL All-Star Classic was a great opportunity to showcase the talent of the players, but it also helped to bond with the fans.
More than 10 Rocket players visited the Centre de réadaptation Marie-Enfant du CHU Sainte-Justine (CRME) in February to visit 40 kids. The players were able to talk and play with the kids and provide them with support. A few children had the chance to come and watch a Rocket game and live an unforgettable experience by visiting the team locker room and meeting the players before the game. Seven Rocket players also visited 200 kids at the CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal. The players gave gifts to all the kids and spent a lot of time playing with them.
The Rocket visited three local arenas to skate with young hockey players as part of the Rocket Hockey Tour program. The goal of the program is to give teams a typical Rocket practice. Our assistant coach Martin Laperrière, as well as several players were able to share their knowledge and show the Rocket values.
The Rocket also hosted two game-related community events: a food drive and a women’s hockey panel. The players’ wives took part in the food drive that took place before a game. Fourteen spouses helped collect 530 kg of food and $513 with the help of Moisson Laval. The women’s hockey panel was held during an intermission of a Rocket game. The “Parlons Hockey” panel, hosted by Chantal Machabée, featured the following guests: Kevin Raphaël, President of the Montreal Force, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Captain of the Montreal Force, Danièle Sauvageau, President of the Centre 21.02 and former head coach of the Canadian national women’s hockey team and Katerine Aubry-Hébert, women’s hockey development coordinator at Hockey Québec. Several girl’s minor hockey teams attended the game and had the chance to meet the panelists and several players from the Montreal Force.
The team is inspired by core values of teamwork, mutual respect, and inclusion. As the Rocket’s seventh season approaches, the goal remains the same: continue to work they began in 2017 and grow alongside Laval’s community. Of course, none of our efforts are without great aid from the community members we seek to help.