Skate to Great, a non-profit organization co-founded by a Ryerson Radio and Television Arts student, took over Nathan Philips Square Sunday with a charity drive to collect new and used skates for disadvantaged youth.
Politicians, musicians, and professional figure skaters were out in force for the charity, collecting gently used skates and hockey equipment for families who normally wouldn’t be able to afford them.
Evan Kosiner, a Radio and Television Arts student from Ryerson, Co-founded Skate to Great with Katilyn Weaver, a figure skater, in November.
“The idea is that every kid in Canada should have the opportunity to skate because skating is such an integral part of Canadian culture,” said Kosiner.
Sunday’s charity drive saw appearances by MP John Carmichael, Tyler Armes of the Canadian band Down With Webster, along with Canadian figure skaters Paul Poirier and Piper Gilles who were on hand to receive the equipment.
“We knew right away what a great cause it was. As skaters and people that skate everyday we really know what a joy it is and we really want to share that opportunity with every kid in Canada,” said Poirier.
Lowe’s Home Improvement and FedEx Express Canada are among Skate to Great’s sponsors who took part in the event. Lowe’s provided a “mini-rink” which was stationed next to the skating rink where people were able to leave their donated skates to be collected.
FedEx agreed to provide Skate to Great with free shipping services to get all donated skates to their new homes and has also donated $5000 for the purchase of new skates in support of the initiative.
From now until next Sunday, Lowe’s locations within the GTA will be accepting donated skates for Skate to Great. These donations go through Courage Canada, another non-profit organization that provides blind and visually-impaired Canadians with the opportunity to skate and play Blind Hockey.