The Central York Girls Hockey Association has launched a fundraiser to buy more defibrillators to public areas for the second year in a row through the new She Shoots, She Saves campaign.
The Orange Crush peewee team took it upon themselves to teach people how to do CPR, as well as raise money to purchase defibrillators after being inspired by York Region Panthers teammate, Raychel Gillies, who saved a man's life at her father's weekly hockey game at a Newmarket arena using a defibrillator after he went into cardiac arrest.
"We placed two outdoor defibrillators in Newmarket and Aurora. We really wanted to raise awareness of cardiac health," said Trish Murphy, manager of the Orange Crush last year.
The team raised enough money to place a SaveStation tower in Newmarket at Riverwalk Commons' outdoor rink, she added.
It was such a success that this year the girls hockey association is turning it into a formal fundraising campaign called She Shoots, She Saves, which kicked off March 13.
"I kept getting so much feedback this year about it, so we thought we decided we would try to do it as a league," said Murphy.
"We decided to bring the entire league together for this because the girls are missing that camaraderie and hockey as they know it. So how do we bring that love of hockey and friendship back?"
The idea behind the campaign is to get players to practise their hockey shots while raising money for more defibrillators. To do this, the league partnered with a company called HockeyShare, which was started by Pittsburgh Penguins trainer Kevin Muller.
"He has given us the app and allowed all the girls to sign up on the app to practise their shots. So from March 13 to 27, they will track their shots on the app. They are then encouraged to get pledges from friends and family, which are put into a crowdfunding page run by SaveStations, which gave us the defibrillator stations last year," said Murphy.
"We are hoping to put up two more stations in York Region."
The league is entering players who sign up for a draw for two $500 discounts on their hockey registration for the 2021-2022 season. It is necessary for the player or their parents to be following the hockey association on social media to be eligible.
So far, the response from the players has been good, said Murphy, and the campaign is well suited for social distancing during the pandemic.
Some big names in women's hockey are also helping out with the campaign such as Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and Central York coach Angela James, as well as former Central York player and Olympic athlete Laura Stacey.