We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Smilezone Foundation through the season long 50/50 Program and our annual Charity Game. This partnership that helps make tough days brighter for children receiving medical treatment in hospitals and clinics around the country. Smilezone Foundation’s mission is to make tough days a little brighter for kids receiving treatment in hospitals and healthcare facilities. This is done by creating fun and engaging “Smilezones” that harness the uplifting power of a smile for the kids and their families. Smilezones can be found in waiting rooms, treatment rooms, playrooms, or other patient spaces!
As of 2022, more than 320 Smilezones in hospitals and health centres across Canada have been created. More than 230,000 children and families are impacted by Smilezones on an annual basis.
The Toronto Rock use the opportunity while hosting annual Exhibition games played out of the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre to support a different local charity. In lieu of admission costs, Rock fans are encouraged to support the Rock’s fundraising efforts each game. Annually, the Oakville Professional Firefighter’s Association (OPFFA) Toy Drive is supported during one of the games. Leading into the 2022 season, the Toronto Rock supported Safetynet Children and Youth Charities (Clothing Drive) and Food4Kids Halton (Food Drive).
Bell Let’s Talk
Every year on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate more money towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by contributing 5¢ for every eligible text, call, tweet, social media video view and various filters used during that day. The Rock support this initiative by using our platform to promote mental health awareness.
The Toronto Rock have been providing school communities with an opportunity to participate in both an educational and interactive lacrosse program. Led by Dan Dawson and Challen Rogers, they share their first-hand knowledge of how the game can positively impact someone’s life as well as educate students on the history of the game as it relates to our Canadian culture. Dawson and Rogers focus on equity, honour, and respect for diversity through this program and gain a greater understanding of how, through sport, we can establish a stronger sense of community. This year alone, the program reached over 10,000 students across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area and continues to grow each year.
Indigenous Heritage Night
The Toronto Rock hosted Indigenous Heritage Night where we honoured the roots of the game of lacrosse and celebrated aspects of Indigenous culture. All fundraising efforts benefited the Downie Wenjack Fund, supporting their programs such as the Legacy Schools Program where they engage, empower, and connect students and educators to further reconciliation through awareness, education, and action.
Toronto Rock players wore jerseys designed by Indigenous Artist Tracey Anthony of Vision Artworks from Six Nations, ON and were later auctioned off as well as shorts and helmets. Prior to the game and at halftime, Haudenosaunee Dancers performed traditional style dances. Prior to faceoff, captains from both teams participated in a smudging ceremony as well the traditional wooden stick game was played at halftime by men and women. From the game worn auction, $20,830 was raised for the Downie Wenjack Fund.
Minor Lacrosse Night
The Toronto Rock hosted a Minor Lacrosse Night where we welcomed organizations from across the province. There were opportunities for teams to participate in in-game experiences such as being a flag bearer, pre-game and halftime scrimmages, on-field cheering and giving out high-fives to players during introductions and sitting on the bench during warmups. All minor lacrosse teams and organizations were offered a discounted ticket and a $5 kick back to their organization.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
The Toronto Rock continues to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grand Erie, Hamilton & Halton to positively impact youth and school aged children across Halton and Hamilton. The Toronto Rock provides the opportunity for Big Brothers Big Sisters members to experience the game and work on collaborative fundraising opportunities throughout the year.
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