Spreading Holiday Cheer

These days, when GTHL teams aren’t on the ice, they’re hard at work spreading cheer throughout the community. Teams from around the League have kick-started a wide variety of goodwill initiatives to assist those in need this holiday season.

Don Mills Flyers
“The parents on our team believe it is important to give back to the community,” explained head coach of the Minor Atom AAA Flyers, Mark Coyle. “The parents all wish for their kids to understand that playing hockey a privilege, and giving back to the community is important to the group.”

The Don Mills Flyers organization participated in fundraising initiatives for the Jennifer Ashleigh Children’s Charity – an organization which helps assist ill children and their families. The Minor Atom team has also helped raise $500 for the East Scarborough Toronto Boys and Girls Club.

North York Knights – Atom A

Supporting the North York Women’s Shelter “Adopt a Family” program, the Atom A North York Knights took to the mall with a list of suggested items to purchase for the shelter. Each family on the team donated $25 towards the cause.

Players from the North York Knights Atom A team go shopping for items to donate.

Mississauga Terriers

A tradition dating back almost a decade, the Mississauga Terriers held their yearly organization-wide toy drive.

“We told parents that we would provide a pizza night for the kids and parents of all our teams,” explained Terriers president Ken Wolff. “In return we asked them to bring a toy.”

The Terriers have averaged 250 donated toys per year. All items are donated to the CHUM Christmas Wish Toy Drive.

Meadowvale Minor Hockey Association

Meadowvale Hockey families shared a large dose of joy this holiday season. A generous donation of 334 new toys and $214.90 in cash was collected for the local Toys for Tots charity. The annual toy drive is a hit with the younger players and Santa fans everywhere.

Toy drive -Team ME032
Players from the Meadowvale Minor Hockey Association with some of the toys collected for donation.

Toronto Red Wings

The Toronto Red Wings Bantam AAA squad held an ever popular teddy bear toss at a recent home game. All bears tossed onto the ice were donated to the Jean Tweed Centre for Women and Their Families as well as the CHUM Christmas Wish Toy Drive.

The Toronto Red Wings teddy bear toss.

Don Mills Civitan and Don Mills Mustangs

We all know Rudolph wasn’t allowed to participate in any reindeer games, but no one said anything about hockey players. Carrying over a tradition started by former North Toronto coach Al Crawford, drills like “Comet’s Crushers” and “Blitzen’s Bombers” have now been introduced to other teams by Don Mills Mustangs Atom A coach Colin Bloom.

In exchange for a non-perishable food item, players were given reindeer antlers and other holiday-themed items that are incorporated into the drills. All food collected is donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Top: Players participating in the Reindeer Games. Bottom: Three players delivering donated food to a Don Mills fire hall.

Is your team spreading goodwill in the community? We want to hear about it! Email your stories to

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