May 25th, 2024

Mayor’s Hockey Challenge facing off for charity

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 24, 2021.

Herald photo by Al Beeber - Mayor Blaine Hyggen will be in goal for the Community Hockey Challenge.


There won’t be any contact but participants in a charity hockey game will be hoping to make a big hit with the organizations they’ll be helping.
Mayor Blaine Hyggen will be backstopping a City of Lethbridge team against a community squad Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. at the ATB Centre in a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen, Interfaith and Lethbridge food banks, the University of Lethbridge Students Union food bank and the Lethbridge College Students Association food bank.
Attendees are being encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items and clothing. They can also donate cash via an online link. Details can be found at while a link to a food donation wish list is available at
Cash donations can be made at People can make a one-time donation or recurring donation.
Christmas Hope is a collaboration involving six local agencies which includes the Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Bank, Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree, Volunteer Lethbridge, The Salvation Army and My City Care Shop of Wonders.
The Christmas Hope website says “the partnership strives to make the most of resources and donations while reducing duplication of services.”
In a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday, the mayor spoke about the game and the purpose behind it which is to address the food security needs in Lethbridge.
Hyggen, who plays goalie a couple of times a week, said a similar event was staged in 2015 benefiting local charities so he thought the time was right to revive the idea.
“We know the holiday season and the month after can be challenging for many people in our community. This is a fun way to bring people together and contribute to helping those in need.”
Hyggen said it’s important to do “as much as we can for those that are in need, and not just throughout the Christmas season but beyond.”
Neil Heaton, operations manager of the Interfaith Food Bank, said “these community events are always great. It’s always good to work with other agencies and support everyone.”
Since COVID hit, the Interfaith bank has become partners “with a lot of agencies and so it’s a great event. I’m glad we’re doing it again,” Heaton said.
“The need is year-round. Christmas is one of the times that people always think about…but the need goes throughout the entire year,” he said.
“Any event that’s put on by the City or community members at large is a good way to promote the food banks and the insecurity issues in the city,” he said.
Heaton said people who want to help can donate things such as canned goods or boxed cereals. The Christmas Hope wish list page has multiple suggestions including chicken, ham, turkey, stuffing mix, dry pastas, flour, instant noodles, pasta sauce, Kraft Dinner and juice.
It also has gift donation suggestions for children ranging from infants to teenagers.
The game itself will be three periods with no contact. The community team will include players from various media outlets such as The Herald, BILD Lethbridge, Economic Development Lethbridge, Exhibition Park, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, Lethbridge College, University of Lethbridge and the Hurricanes.
Entry requirements will fall under the AHS restrictions exemption program.
Intermission entertainment is being organized by the Lethbridge Sport Council while the national anthem will be performed by Tsuaki Marule in English, French and Blackfoot.

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