AE peewees 'trick or treat so kids can eat'

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DeGroote-Hill AE peewees went door-to-door last Wednesday night dressed up in Halloween costumes to ‘Trick or Treat so others can eat.’

“It’s all non-perishable food,” said DeGroote-Hill AE peewee coach Jeff VanRybroeck, noting they plan to continue the team’s good deeds ‘every month or so’ to teach the 10-12 year old hockey players that volunteering in the community is a good thing to do moving forward.

“Tonight, we went around trick or treating, partnered with DeGroote-Hill,” said VanRybroeck, noting DeGroote-Hill Chevrolet Buick GMC supports a backpack program at the Helping Hand Food Bank.

“They fill backpacks with food for kids that need it. This food will all go into that backpack program that’s done within the schools, so that kids that don’t have food, or don’t have the abilities, can have something.”

The team left the Tillsonburg Community Centre at 5 p.m., dividing up to reach as many subdivisions as possible in two hours, accompanied by parents and team staff. At each door the children would say ‘Trick or Treat so kids can eat’ and explain they were collecting non-perishable food for Helping Hand to go toward the backpack program.


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“A few people did give them candy too,” VanRybroeck smiled, “but the majority was non-perishable food for the Food Bank.”

The team did some last-minute advertising on social media but for the most part they were making ‘cold calls.’ And they got a great response, he said.

“Just knocked on the door and people were extremely generous. A few didn’t come to the door but I would say the majority did… and a lot of the people, once we explained to them what we were doing, they would come with bags of stuff. We had little cards done up that could explain what we were doing, too.

“It was exciting for the kids. They were able to get dressed up and they were able to go out and do a little team bonding, and also do something that’s great for the community.


“It’s just about teaching these kids that there’s more than just hockey. One of the next things we’re going to do is Coats for Kids at the Christmas Parade (Nov. 17, 2 p.m.). We’re going to be collecting coats for kids.

In addition to sponsoring the TMHI team, DeGroote-Hill is sponsoring the AE Peewee good deeds they’re doing in the community.

“They’re trying to make a community impact and they heard that we’re trying to make a community impact,” said VanRybroeck, “so with the two of us we kind of teamed up… and see what we can do in the community together.”

Brenda Fitzgerald, representing the Helping Hand Food Bank last Wednesday night, was at the Community Centre to applaud the donation of 1,038 pounds of food and $70 cash collected by the AE peewees.