“Game On is larger than us. It lives and breathes for the passion of outdoor ball hockey while supporting kids’ mental health,” says Angelo Posteraro, the Founder and Director of the Milton Orthotic & Wellness Centre Foundation (MOWC), as he looks forward to the 6th Annual GAME ON! Ball Hockey Tournament next month.
The tournament will take place on June 23rd, 2018 at the Home Depot Plaza with participants including age 6 – adult. Over the last 5 years, this event has attracted over 400 local businesses, 500+ participants, 200+ volunteers and 2500+ visitors.
Last year, Game On! raised a record of $25,025 and just under $70,000 over the last 5 years.
“It’s a ball hockey for kids in support of kids,” says Angelo.
MOWC foundation started this initiative back in 2013 to support the Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), the largest mental health service provider in Halton Region offering more than 30 programs and services for children.
“In 2013, I had an idea while gazing out into our parking lot in our plaza,” says Angelo. “How could we make ball hockey different? We will play ball hockey, outdoors, in the middle of a retail plaza like when we were kids.”
However, the difference, of course, being that retail plazas were closed back then on Sundays, Angelo recalls.
Especially in the digital age which we live in today where kids are exposed to much more negativity and incidents than before, Angelo believes that a child’s mental health is everything and helping kids when they are younger helps them to become ROCK Solid Adults.
“We agreed that exercise and activity for kids is an important issue and we liked the work that ROCK was doing with mental health,” says Rod Mclachlan, one of the first individuals whom Angelo had approached with the idea. “So, we sat down in Angelo’s office in December of 2012 and we brainstormed ideas about how we could get the service clubs in Milton to collaborate on a project together because we felt that we are stronger when we work together.”
Rod, who helps with the constructions and setups for the event, hopes that in about three years or so, his young son will be able to play in this event, and hopefully then it will really come full circle for him in terms of kids helping kids.
This event promotes kids to get involved with physical activity and also get a chance to meet new kids and become friends.
“Part of mental health is meeting new people and socializing,” says Angelo. By Kiran Khan The event solely depends on sponsorships, the main source for the raised funds.
“To play is minimal as we don’t want to exclude any kids,” says Angelo.
The entry fee sums up to $10.00 for children ages 6-15 and $25.00 for ages 16-adult. The entry fee includes a BBQ Lunch, Tournament team t-shirt, Participant medal, Protective eye wear, and your name on the Stanley cup for the winning player. The sponsorship packages for the event includ the Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Board Sign and Bronze options.
“We are expecting more participants this year. We have Minirinx hosting an activity between games to keep the kids occupied,” says Angelo.
The raffle will hold a $1,000 leaf package $10.00 per ticket or 3 for $25, which includes 2 lower bowl leaf tickets for the 2018-2019 season – Dinner for 2 at Eddieo’s Restaurant – Limo ride to and from the leaf game restaurant.
The registration deadline is June 15th and the Sponsorship deadline is June 8th – for more information or to register, please visit: www.ball-hockey.ca
“It takes a lot of volunteers to make this all happen,” says Angelo. “I’m just a small piece of something bigger.