Local ball player raises money for Right to Play
An Airdrie ball hockey player is making a difference in the lives of kids he’s never met.
Chad Croal recently raised $1,200 for the Right to Play Foundation, July 19, which uses sports to enhance child development in underdeveloped countries. Croal, along with members of his ball hockey team, the Dirt Snakes, partnered with Boston Pizza to sell tickets for pizza and a beverage and held a silent auction to raise funds for the organization.
Right to Play began as an organization called Olympic Aid, which was a legacy project of the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Over the past 18 years, money raised through Olympic Aid and Right to Play programs have been used to fund a number of projects around the world, including the building of hospitals and schools, refugee and mother/child programs and vaccination efforts. A number of international and Olympic athletes have joined with Right to Play as ambassadors, including NHL stars Alex Ovechkin and Zdeno Chara, Chelsea soccer star Frank Lampard and Olympic gold medallist Clara Hughes.
An athletic person himself, Croal chose Right to Play as his charity because of its sport-centric mission and because of the lessons it teaches through games and sport.
“I had been looking to do a fundraising event with the team,” he said.
“I picked up a passion for Right to Play. They use sports as a tool for educating (kids) about health and safety and building life skills for them. The cool thing is that (Right to Play) knows it’s not an end-all and be-all (organization), it’s only one piece of the equation.”
A number of sponsors came forward and donated items for the silent auction, which included Calgary Stampeders tickets, an autographed hockey picture, pizza for year and 36 holes of golf at the Woodside Golf Club.
Croal had been in contact with Right to Play following fundraiser and found out that the $1,200 raised allows 24 kids to participate in Right to Play programs for an entire year.
“That was nice to see,” he said. “It might be a yearly thing. It was a lot of work, but it was rewarding to see how everyone came together and supported it.”