A BIG thank you to owners Peter and Judy Ham, Will VanNieuwenhuizen, Director of Community Relations, Blast announcer Norm Tolhurst, and the entire Brantford Blast family for the recent opportunity to showcase Brant Food For Thought and student nutrition programs at the Brantford and District Civic Centre. A special thank you goes out to Robert and Sherry Tamilia of Reliant Climate Control, for sponsoring the January 22 game night against the Dundas Real McCoys. Unfortunately, the family was unable to join us for the evening. We appreciate them allowing us to use this venue to launch our “Moo To You” milk project, in support of student nutrition programs in Brantford.
“Our volunteers and their families were thrilled to receive their complimentary passes,” expressed Nancy Waldschmidt, event organizer and Volunteer Development Coordinator for Brant Food For Thought. “Everyone was excited to take part; the Blast had their highest attendance of 1,944, since the season started.” Brant Food For Thought is grateful to the Blast for the 500 complimentary family passes for the evening to distribute to our school communities, a tremendous in-kind value of $15,000, greatly appreciated by all our volunteers, educators and their families in attendance.
In keeping with the “Moo To You” theme, our own Karen Gibbons, Community Development Coordinator for Brant Food For Thought, and daughter of a former dairy farmer, bravely took on the role of cow mascot and was busily handing out the promotional red cowbell noisemakers, along with Board President and long time Blast enthusiast, Lori Henderson. Thanks to a generous $500 in-kind sponsorship from 4imprint Canada, Brant Food For Thought program director, Gisèle Budgell, secured the cowbells, perfectly suited for our milk project theme and for the game night itself. “It was especially rewarding, ” says Budgell, “to see the children light up and get excited about getting a free cowbell to make some noise at the game.” In addition, Holstein Canada generously donated cow stickers, tattoos and milk trivia cards to compliment the giveaway table.
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Diana Tedford of Brant Food For Thought, Michelle Connor, City of Brantford and St. Theresa School office coordinator and program volunteer, Cheryl Hewitson were enthusiastic about helping out at the event. “It was great to see the number of people who were at the game to support Brant Food For Thought,” said Hewitson. “The hit of the night, of course, was THE COWBELLS. You didn’t have to be in the direct vicinity of the ice to know when Brantford scored or made a good play”. And what a great night it was for the Brantford Blast who are currently on a 6 game winning streak. Go Blast go!
Waldschmidt added, “As a regular fan of Brantford Blast hockey, I was honoured to take part in the puck drop at centre ice. The Blast truly have great fans, and to hear the cheers and the bells for Brock who was representing elementary school students was amazing.” A special thank you goes to Lyan Photography for sharing this amazing photograph with us.
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FirstOntario Credit Union, one of our major milk project sponsors, was also on hand for the evening with Brantford Branch Manager, Troy Tindale, and Blue Wave volunteer Susan Oakes handing out promotional FirstOntario blue foam fingers, much to the delight of our junior game attendees. “It is very important to FirstOntario to be a part of and involved in our communities”, expressed Tindale. “We really want to be engaged with our communities and members. Personally, I thought it was a great event and a wonderful night. I was impressed by the amount of people in attendance and the fun atmosphere that was created”.
This year alone, FirstOntario Credit Union is investing over $21,000 to support student nutrition programs in Brantford and Brant, $15,000 of which will provide enhanced access to milk once a week to over 1,400 students in local schools. With initial funding from the Grocery Foundation through our Lead Agency, H-N Reach, Brant Food For Thought is contributing to the healthy development of students participating in school nutrition programs. Milk plays an important role in an overall balanced diet, and provides 16 essential nutrients that contribute to the quality of our everyday diet.