Ladies First Hockey Foundation
Board of Directors
Peter McCarthy, Executive Director
Brad Morris, Board Member, Director of Marketing & Communications
Peter McWhirter – Peter.McWhirter@ladiesfirsthockeyfoundation.com
Brian McComb – Brian.McComb@ladiesfirsthockeyfoundation.com
Jayna Hefford – Jayna.Hefford@ladiesfirsthockeyfoundation.com
Sally Pirri – Sally.Pirri@ladiesfirsthockeyfoundation.com
The Ladies First Hockey Foundation specifically supports the Canadian National/Olympic Women’s Hockey Team & Development Program; while also working in partnership with Hockey Canada for team fundraising support and Olympic support through the “Family and Friends” program initiative. The Ladies First Hockey Foundation is also a proud Foundation in support of the National Program’s development towards the overall sport of Canadian Women’s Hockey. Women’s hockey continues to be one of the most explosive growth sports in Canada and without question the National Team program and players help define the sport on a world scale. Proudly the Ladies First Hockey Foundation is in place to help these incredible National & Olympic athletes as overall ambassadors of Canada while supporting the development of Canadian Women’s Hockey. The Ladies First Hockey Foundation positions partnership & sponsorship opportunities in support of these elite National athletes through signature and ongoing events. 100% of all net funds raised go directly to the program and the Foundation is 100% volunteer governed.
The Foundation History
In 2002, after Canada’s Double Gold Medal win in hockey at Salt Lake City, a group of friends and associates who had gathered regularly in Muskoka were discussing the tremendous victory. The conversation quickly changed to the inequities between members of the Men’s and the Women’s Hockey Programs. Beyond the financial inequity the group reflected on the personal hardships & sacrifices of the young women who were training to get to the Olympic Games in Torino, Italy in 2006. Both groups made up of elite athletes and outstanding ambassadors to Canada but based in very different support and paths to this point in their playing career.
The concept of a 3 day Golf Tournament in the Heart of Muskoka was born in support of the women in the National Program! Windermere House, overlooking Lake Rosseau, was selected as the original venue of choice. Friends, family, sponsors and sports & entertainment patrons were solicited to lend their names to the event and the 1st Annual Good as Gold Open was well under way.
In October 2005, Tim Harrison, then Chairman of the Good as Gold Open, was approached to help the Team and Hockey Canada with the Olympic “Friends and Family Program”. This is a program initiated by the Canadian Olympic Committee to aid the parents and families of Olympic bound athletes through financial support and the securing of housing and transportation when visiting Olympic cities during the Games.
Soliciting the help of fellow Good as Gold Open Supporters, Anne Marren and Brian McComb, the three established the Not-for-Profit Ladies First Hockey Foundation. The immediate mandate of the Foundation was to establish a vehicle that would aid the parents of the 2006 Olympic Team. This meant fundraising to help with travel and accommodation costs, arranging hotels and buses while in Italy and helping to offset the cost of game tickets, etc. In doing this, the athletes could remain focused on development and all aspects of training & competing towards their individual and team goal of “Bringing Home the Gold”….knowing their loved ones were well looked after and would be able to come to the games to see their daughters compete.
The Ladies First Hockey Foundation continued to execute its mandate to help fund the Family and Friends Program to facilitate arrangements for players’ families leading up to our program’s glorious Gold Medal performance at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. This was accomplished by introducing two additional sponsorship and fundraising events held in both Toronto and in Edmonton (in the spring of 2009).
The Ladies First Hockey Foundation continues to direct its primary commitment to Canada’s National Women’s Hockey program and the athletes that are privileged to be a part of that team and program, and the Family & Friends Olympic Program. To help ensure the commitment is in place for the future development of our National Program the Ladies First Hockey Foundation is also committed to support the National Program’s role in the explosive growth of Women’s Hockey across Canada at all levels and the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) which is the playing home for many of our current and future National Team players.
Throughout our mandate we are proud of our Foundation's ongoing corporate and individual partners and of special note to continually have The Globe and Mail as Presenting Sponsor in partnership with Bank of Montreal BMO Insurance.
The Ladies First Hockey Foundation and Good as Gold, under newly expanded and passionate Board of Directors, celebrated a very special 10th Anniversary in 2012 with not only a record turnout but a single event fundraising record at $150,000 which proudly took the Foundation over the $1,000,000 level raised since its inception. An idea and a dream that simply began as a strong belief between a group of friends in 2002 started a journey that has grown to help play a part in the continued development of the Canadian Women's National Hockey Program, and the special ladies & athletes that make up the program and define this incredible game of hockey, and Canada, on a world scale.
The Foundation continues its history of success with highlights of emotion felt from the Gold Medal Olympic Wins for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and then one of the most historic moments in Canadian sport with the 2014 Sochi Olympic Gold Medal overtime win. These moments and memories captured around the world and throughout this country as Canadian players not only celebrated together but with family & friends in attendance. A feeling of pride for all supporters of the Foundation as players embraced family over the glass and on the ice. The players of Team Canada captured the Moments and Memories of their Olympic experience in a special book that was presented to Foundation Members during the 2014 Good As Gold Event.
The players of the Canadian Program set the standard throughout the world and the Foundation continues to proudly build the support required to play a role in their success. In 2014 long time Board Member (and program Alumni) Cheryl Pounder passed a position torch to new Board Member (and program Alumni) Jayna Hefford as Good As Gold found a new home at Hockley Valley (in Mono, Ontario) and held one of the most successful events in Foundation history passing the $1,600,000 total raised level.
The vision and future has never looked stronger.