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FEBRUARY 11, 2022
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) and Prince Rupert’s home team of the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL), the Rupert Rampage, have teamed up to honour survivors of the residential school system and raise funds for community groups. As the Rampage’s title sponsor, during the CIHL’s 2021-22 regular season PRPA led multiple initiatives both on and off the ice to support the Indian Residential School Survivors Society of BC (IRSSS) and eight additional North Coast-based charities. Through the efforts of volunteers and Rampage players, and most importantly – the generosity of their fans, more than $10,000 is going to non-profit organizations that provide essential services and programs.
As the extent of the historic injustices of Canada’s residential schools was brought to the forefront in 2021, the Rupert Rampage and PRPA endeavoured to unite the North Coast hockey community behind survivors and intergenerational survivors. For the 2021-22 season, the team introduced specially designed orange Every Child Matters jerseys and held a ceremony to pay tribute to the memories of the thousands of Indigenous children who were tragically taken from their families.
Beyond these symbolic gestures, PRPA and the Rampage also launched a new season-long campaign to fundraise for groups that serve and promote local Indigenous cultures and youth. Partnering with a different local non-profit organization for each Rampage home game, PRPA staff and volunteers set up a Donation Station to sell limited edition Every Child Matters t-shirts and cotton candy. Over the entire season, they collected more than $4,000 in donations from hockey fans, which PRPA is matching for a total of $8,028. That sum is being split, with half going to IRSSS, a provincial organization with a twenty-year history of providing essential services to survivors and intergenerational survivors of the Residential School System. The remaining funds are being divided between these local non-profits, which provide housing, healthcare, counselling, food security, education, recreation, language, culture programs and services in the community:
“The Rupert Rampage have demonstrated leadership and respect for their community in response to the confirmation of unmarked graves on the sites of former residential schools and we are proud to work together to support survivors and their families,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We are sincerely grateful to Rampage fans for their tremendous generosity and enthusiasm for the Donation Station throughout the season and thank all of the groups who partnered with us to make it a success.”
In addition to the Donation Station, PRPA and the Rupert Rampage raised $2,200 for the Prince Rupert Salvation Army through the annual Goals for Giving Hope campaign. Rampage players scored 22 times on home ice over the course of the regular season, garnering $100 for each goal. Since starting this yearly initiative, the Rampage and PRPA have donated more than $26,000 to the cause, helping the Salvation Army continue to operate critical services including the City Food Bank and soup kitchen.
“The reaction from the community this season has been incredibly inspiring and the players extend their appreciation to the fans and PRPA for their ongoing support,” said Terena Stegavig, Rupert Rampage Vice President. “We are also thankful for the chance to channel our efforts to honour the legacy of late Rupert Rampage trainer, Jules Robinson, who passed away in February 2021. He was a dedicated part of our North Coast hockey community and being able to give back to causes that provide support to Indigenous people and promote youth sports helps us keep his memory alive.”
PRPA’s Community Relations team and Vincent Sampare from the Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert run the Donation Station at the Rupert Rampage home opener. Volunteers from each local partner organization helped make the fundraising hub a success throughout the season, selling specially-printed t-shirts and cotton candy by donation.
Rampage game attendees enjoyed cotton candy from the Donation Station at every Prince Rupert home game in the regular season. Proceeds from cotton candy sales contributed to fundraising and helped raise dollars for all of the causes that benefited from the initiative.
At the final game of the season, Rupert Rampage VP Angie Burns and forward Nolan Stava join PRPA Community Relations Coordinator Natalie Allen to present a cheque to Dawn and Geoff Butt from the Prince Rupert Salvation Army. Shortly after the photo was taken, the Rampage scored another goal, adding another $100 to the Goals for Giving Hope total.
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