Foundation Friday : Oilers Community Foundation

Since the Edmonton Oilers stepped onto the hockey scene in 1979 they have dedicated themselves to supporting the surrounding community. However, it was not until 2001 that the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation came into existence.

When the foundation was formed it was really a way to formalize the charitable activity of the hockey club.

  • Natalie Minckler – Executive Director – Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation

 

Busy is the best way to describe the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. Since 2001, the foundation has gifted over $28 million dollars to over 2,500 registered charitable groups in the community. The foundation is able to help a wide variety of organizations because their mandate is incredibly broad. Basically, they do not limit themselves so they can help as many people in the community as possible.

Our mandate with the foundation is to support registered charitable organizations who focus their activities on education, wellness, and health for youth.

  • Natalie Minckler – Executive Director – Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation

 

Here are just a few things the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation partake in on a yearly basis.

Hockey Fights Cancer

For Minckler the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer event has a special place in her heart as her siblings have been affected by cancer. Yet, she looks at the event from beyond where she is sitting. Minckler looks at the bigger picture and what Hockey Fights Cancer means to all those involved.

I think as an organization it allows people to get behind a cause. Unfortunately cancer is all too prevalent in our community. It really resonates with most people in our community whether it’s our fans, our players, our staff.

  • Natalie Minckler – Executive Director – Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation

Walking around the office today Minckler saw multiple coworkers donning lavender scarves and ties in preparation for tonight’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” event. Each person holds in their heart a battle scar from their own battle with cancer or from watching a loved one battle the disease.

The net proceeds from this year’s event will go to a group called “Kids With Cancer”. They work with children who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families to provide treatments and support.

Inner City High School

For the past 8 years the Oilers foundation has been working with a local high school by the name of Inner City High School. This academic and artistically based high school aims to help at risk youth become contributing members of society.

Recently the Oilers foundation bought a brand new building for the school. The relocation of the students and staff has proven to be a success.

 The kids are thriving in this facility.

  • Natalie Minckler – Executive Director – Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation

 

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Hockey Helps Kids

Chloe and Harrison Katz used their status as the owner of the Edmonton Oilers children to good use this past year when they started a new program entitled “Hockey Helps Kids”.

The program asks junior high students to pick a charity they would like to work with and help. The kids then have to develop a sales pitch which will run on the Oilers scoreboard during the month of March. Oilers fans will see the videos at every game and get to vote on which charity pitch they like the best. The winning charity will receive $25,000 and each school who participates will receive $5,000.

It’s really unique. It engages the kids. We worked with an educational consultant here to develop a curriculum appropriate for the junior high level.

  • Natalie Minckler – Executive Director – Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation

Throughout the process different players will visit each school to help the kids decide which charity they would like to pitch. They will ask the kids important questions to get them thinking like “why did you choose this charity” and “What’s important to you”.

It connects charities, school, and the NHL all into a little community. All working together for important causes.

  • Natalie Minckler – Executive Director – Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation

Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Hospitality Institute

Last year the Oilers Foundation launched an important program to help boost employment in the community once their new arena is built.

The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Hospitality Institute trains people who wish to work in the hospitality realm. A local college in Edmonton has partnered with the foundation to offer programs like ticket taker and server training for those wishing to get a job when the new arena opens next year.

50/50 Raffle

For most teams the 50/50 Raffle is like trying to guess the weather in Northeast Ohio on any given day. You honestly never know what you are going to get. A plethora of people might buy a ticket or barely anyone will buy a ticket.

However, it’s a different story for the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. They always know it’s going to be a successful night. For example, at the end of the 2015-16 season home opener one lucky fan walked away with $83,000. Which means the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the charitable foundation who came to sell tickets walked away with $41,500 each.

Yet again another reason why fan participation is immensely important to the success of each NHL teams foundation.

We are very fortunate. Our fans are very supportive of our fundraising activities that we have during Oilers games. That’s how we generate the funds we need to give back to the community.

  • Natalie Minckler – Executive Director – Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation