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Thursday’s FTB: Just because we have no social graces doesn’t mean we can’t do social good

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It’s charity season, and I found a couple to support with this money I suddenly came into.

Natalie Spooner - #24, Toronto Furies (C) Chris Tanouye / CWHL

I recently came into some money at the blog here.

And we at PPP talked over this situation, checked the Rules of Acquisition and then decided we needed something a little more us and a little less Ferengi as guidance on what to do with it.

We wanted to say to you, our readers, the lurkers, the commenteriat, the randoms from a google search who are confused about what the hell kind of puppets this site is about, that we write for you. We write for ourselves of course. But we’re talking to you, for you, about you in some ways.

And with some of the stuff that goes on in hockey, not just lately, but always, social change is on my mind. Sports fandom is a never ending theatre of the game reflecting the world at us and sometimes what we see is troubling.

Sometimes what we see is wonderful. And one way to amplify the wonderful is with good old fashioned US Dollars. Of which I now suddenly have $150.

To find some inspiration about what to do with this lucre, I turned, as one does, to reality TV. Recently I was lured, innocently and helplessly, into Battle of the Blades fandom. It was a brief fling with this silly and fun show that pairs up a figure skater with a hockey player and has them compete in figure skating.

Toronto star forward Natalie Spooner was in this year’s show:

But grabbing my heart, and everyone else’s was Sheldon Kennedy, 50 years old! Putting himself out there, showing us all what bravery and vulnerability can combine to bring:

Kennedy is a man who was failed by the game in the larger sense, and he hadn’t spent much time on the ice lately. He said yes to this show as a way to have some fun after dedicating his life to preventing the sorts of abuse he was victimized by within the sport.

Spooner is a woman who is spending an entire season not playing in the hopes of creating opportunities that are bigger and better for the future.

This show is setup so the winners get prizes that are awarded to charities of their choosing, and I decided to split my cash up between their choices to recognize both of them.

Kennedy chose Canadian Tire Jumpstart, a foundation that seeks to ensure that kids in need have equal access to sports and physical activity. They fund other organizations, schools, programs, even shoot some money to MLSE Foundation who do similar work in Toronto. They allow you to direct funds locally, and I looked at their financials, they are not a fundraising machine charity, they raise and distribute large amounts of funds to programs for kids.

Jumpstart is a fairly old-school type of organization, established, concerned with programs and not a lot else. It’s a traditional and effective model of support for programs that often gets axed by local governments looking to hit a tax target their voters will like.

Spooner picked Fast and Female, a very new-school organization that was founded by athletes, but has taken root in a place that might surprise you: the Calgary business community. One thing that it’s easy to forget is that the blue suits in Alberta are often worn by women, and a lot of those women get into the corporate suite from the locker room, just like the men do.

Fast and Female is more about the social change than the replacement for tax-funded services: “We host empowering events to give ALL girls the role models and skills they need to succeed in sports and life.”

By age 14, girls drop out of sport at twice the rate of boys the same age (Women’s Sport Foundation, 2008). Fast and Female exists to change this statistic. The villain in this story is the restricted potential of girls. The heroes are the girls themselves as they learn from role models about the power of sport participation to make them more resilient and confident women.

Fast and Female’s mission is to keep girls healthy and active in sports because it sets them up to succeed and lead in life beyond sports. We are driven to fulfill our mission because aside from the obvious benefits of physical health and wellness, we know that sports help young women develop the confidence, leadership and teamwork skills that are essential for success in later life.

Founded in 2005, Fast and Female is a registered charity led by two friends, athletic rivals, and moms who happen to be Olympic gold medalists in cross-country skiing: Canadian Chandra Crawford and American Kikkan Randall.

If you want to join in on sending money somewhere that can help change the hockey or sporting world, you can also look at MLSE foundation, or just your local minor hockey teams. If you have good ideas of organizations you like to support, tells us about them.

In the future, to keep this going, to show you that we value you and your readership of what we choose to write, and the community you have built here, we’re looking at a doing some kind of merchandise sales, likely those PPP coffee cups that everyone loves. They won’t be bargain-priced. But we will set it up so funds raised go somewhere, and we’ll ask for input on that. (If you’ve got experience doing this, tell me, because I’m always willing to have help on the research.)


Some links and other things.

First, what is going on with Ilya Kovalchuk?

And...

Or...

But...

Who knows. Maybe he’ll get traded to the Islanders and then disappear.

Well, if it was on Facebook, it sure must be real.

seldo now works for Yahoo, it seems.

That’s the Marlies foe this weekend. They should be cheerful.

Our stuff (warning, it’s not all that cheery right now):

Special Teams Sink Leafs; Isles Win 5-4 - Pension Plan Puppets
A wild one on the island goes against us.

I Am A Little Concerned About This Whole Leafs Situation - Pension Plan Puppets
I would like to talk to you about it.

Women’s Hockey Links: PWHPA players deliver message on and off the ice - Pension Plan Puppets
It’s been kind of a week in women’s hockey. On Thursday, Budweiser teamed up with the PWHPA to bring more visibility to their mission and try to attract more support both at the grassroots and the...

Hockey Wilderness asked me and some other people to talk about rebuilding, tanking and all that fun stuff. It was a great format, and the author did a great job, as did the others who answered the call to contribute. Worth your time.

Later on today, I’ll have another post in the goalie series. I wasn’t planning to write this one, but I started looking up the information, and it was fun. This is a look at the good, the bad and the replacement level goalies currently playing. Check to see if the good ones are who you think they are.

And if people are really, really interested, I will write up a short post on the concept of playing the backup in the second half of the back-to-backs. It seems to be a perennial question in comments, and we all know that writing LTIR explainers put an end to those misconceptions. Say so, if you really want to see that.

On a recent Insider Trading.. let me find that...

Bob McKenzie said that the Leafs are not currently looking for a veteran backup goaltender. He then went on to say that there are 5 more back-to-backs between now and the end of December! Well that’s not helping us, is it?

Jake Muzzin had some stuff to say last night:

Or Species game is six (seconds)

Have a good Thursday everyone, and just remember no one on this blog runs the Toronto Maple Leafs.