By Erin Meagher
PINK IN THE RINK
Scarborough Young Bruins continue off-ice initiative, led by award-winning coach Bryan Whittaker
Raising awareness of a disease that affects women in the GTHL community has been top of mind for the Scarborough Young Bruins Minor Midget AA team since their minor atom season.
Throughout the month of October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the team showed their support by dressing in pink both on and off the ice. Led by head coach Bryan Whittaker, the initiative, which also included a fundraiser before their game on Saturday, Oct. 11, raised $293.20 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The team gave out ribbons, pink candies and pink balloons to pink-clad fans who packed the stands to show their support for the cause.
This is just one of the many reasons why players, parents and members of the Young Bruins organization penned nearly 20 letters to the League last year explaining why the coach deserved recognition. The League agreed and presented Whittaker with the Herb Ebisuzaki Coaching Award following the 2014-15 season.
“His tremendous passion for the game is unequivocally matched with the passion he has for making his players decent members of society,” said one player.
Whittaker, a former GTHL player with the Wexford Raiders, began coaching in the West Hill Minor Hockey Association 10 years ago because he wanted to “try and give back by helping young players grow a passion for the great game of hockey.”
The one thing Whittaker hopes all of his players take away from their time on his team is respect, which also happens to be his motto.
“He commands it himself and his players demonstrate it,” noted one parent.
BRAVES TOY DRIVE
The Atom AA Mississauga Braves, with help from two other GTHL teams, filled two huge boxes with toys on Sunday, Nov. 15 at Hershey Centre. Players will help the Breakfast with Santa Foundation serve breakfast and deliver the toys to families in Mississauga before the holidays. The Braves thank everyone who supported the initiative.
FILL THE TRUCK!
The GTHL and Ontario Provincial Police joined forces in September to collect and distribute gently used equipment for Northern Ontario First Nation communities. The equipment drive ran from Sept. 21 to 27, with the majority of donations gathered during GTHL Puck Drop Weekend at Canlan Ice Sports York.