Saskatoon, SK – The Saskatoon Blades and Nutrien are pleased to reveal details of a new charitable partnership initiative with team captain, Chase Wouters. Known as the Nutrien Face-Off for Hunger campaign, the initiative will see Nutrien donating $10 to the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre for every face-off Wouters wins during the 2019-20 Western Hockey League regular season.
“Chase is entering his fourth season with our organization and had come forward with ambitions of wanting to take another step in his contributions in the community,” explained Blades’ Director of Business Operations, Tyler Wawryk. “Chase demonstrates what we want our players, staff, and overall brand to represent. In his second season with the Blades, Chase was awarded the WHL Eastern Conference Academic Player of the Year Award and just last season he received the Blades’ community minded award for his efforts in the community. After speaking with Chase and discussing several ideas, we landed on the face-off for hunger idea which Nutrien was quick to jump on in support.”
Wouters has been one of the top face-off men in the WHL over the last couple of seasons, most recently winning 799 draws in the 2018-19 campaign. This offered a unique opportunity for Nutrien to support a local initiative that is near to their hearts.
“At Nutrien, our purpose is to grow our world from the ground up,” says Candace Laing, Vice President, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations, “investing in community initiatives and partnerships enhances the quality of life in regions where we operate, and reflects the goals and values of our company. Supporting Nutrien Face-Off For Hunger improves food security right here at home.”
Chase Wouters recently returned from NHL camp with the Anaheim Ducks and is getting set for his fourth full season with the Blades; the second of which as team captain.
“Part of being a member of the Blades is that we have a duty and responsibility to use our platform to help the community,” explained Wouters. “I’ve taken a lot of pride in that area of being a WHL hockey player and after last season, talking to some other guys around the league and different people in Saskatoon, I wanted to find new way to give back. Obviously there’s only so many hours us players can physically get out in the community, but this program is something I feel I can do on a nightly basis. Nutrien stepped up to help create the Nutrien Face-Off For Hunger initiative so now it’s up to me to go out there and win as many draws as I can,” stated the 19-year-old pivot from Lloydminster.
The $10 donation from Nutrien for each of Wouters’ face-off wins will be given to the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre; building on a long standing three-way partnership. In recent years, the Blades and Nutrien have teamed up to raise funds and collect food items through food bank drives and theme jersey auctions.
The Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre is a progressive and collaborative organization that seeks to address the underlying causes of food insecurity and poverty in the Saskatoon community. Naturally, the Food Bank & Learning Centre are excited to have Chase on board for the cause as well.
Laurie O’Connor, the Food Bank’s Executive Director, says this partnership is one that is very meaningful to the organization and the community it serves. “These types of events are fun, and we get a lot of positive feedback from the community about this partnership. It’s a great time for everyone, in support of a cause that people really care about. The month of September is Hunger Awareness Month in Canada, so this is a particularly great time to kick off this initiative.”
Nutrien will also be the title sponsor of the Saskatoon Blades’ Country Harvest Game on Saturday, October 12th, against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Country Harvest Night is part of the Blades’ drive for fans to donate to the Food Bank & Learning Centre ahead of the Thanksgiving season.
The Nutrien Face-Off for Hunger Campaign is slated to begin when the Saskatoon Blades play their first game of the 2019-20 regular season in Prince Albert against the Reigning Champion Raiders on Friday, September 20th. Fans will have their first opportunity to see Wouters in action on the following night as the Saskatoon Blades host the Prince Albert Raiders for the Home Opener on Saturday, September 21st.
“I’m looking forward to having that added incentive on the ice, knowing it’s going to a good cause, I can’t wait to lineup in the face-off circle,” concluded Wouters.