Despite the unusually warm February weather, Campbell Avenue Park saw a great turnout of skaters at its rink Monday.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment Foundation (MLSE) partnered with the city and hosted its first Family Day event at Campbell Park.
The foundation donated free skating equipment to various rinks in local communities around Toronto.
“This is our first Family Day event that we’ve done — it was a good opportunity to celebrate the skate library we donated to Campbell Rink, and two other rinks in Wallace and Dufferin Grove,” said Kendra Kerr, the foundation’s community investment officer.
Maple Leafs alumnus, Darryl Sittler, attended the Campbell Park event and thought the event had an “excellent turnout and warm weather for February.”
He has been working with the foundation since the beginning and says it is working to bring hockey to the communities.
Ward 18 councillor Ana Bailao also attended the event and was pleased with the turnout.
“The event helped the community come together and it appreciates the spirit of community,” Bailao said.
The foundation donated skating equipment for the day that children used at the event.
“This community is very active at this rink so it was a perfect opportunity to give out some free swag, get the kids decorating some cookies and have some face paint,” Kerr said.
Sittler said that proceeds collected from the day would go towards getting more skating equipment for children around the city to appreciate hockey.
“We [at MLSE] are focused on hitting areas in the city that could use the facilities, whether it’s a rink or a basketball court,” he said.
Bailao said the community appreciates the help the foundation has done and feels the Family Day event will help the community come together.
“People will come together to appreciate the space and the sport,” she said.
Kerr says the foundation has been working with the city for over a decade to refurbish local ice rinks and set up programs that allow kids to play hockey.
Kerr hopes the foundations continues to have Family Day events for communities like Campbell Avenue to enjoy the day and the sport.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for us to become connected with the communities that we serve and Family Day’s a great way to get everybody of all ages out to participate,” she said.