It’s always a touching moment when kids get to meet their hockey heroes.
On Monday, Sven Baertschi of the Vancouver Canucks made that happen for some lucky kids.
Baertschi travelled to the North Surrey Recreation Centre to visit a number of kids skating with the Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) program.
Sven Baertschi hanging out in Surrey this afternoon with some of his friends from @heroshockey - He’s been with this great organization since he was drafted in Calgary, and continues to be a part of it in Vancouver. #Canucks pic.twitter.com/Ye8yKxHwCp— Irfaan Gaffar (@sportsnetirf) December 5, 2017
He also donated 25 bags of hockey gear to the organization, which will help both current and future players joining HEROS.
The program is a volunteer-driven organization that uses hockey to teach life skills while empowering Canada’s marginalized youth, according to their website.
HEROS has engaged over 7,500 boys and girls over the last 18 years of existence. Currently, there are about 100 kids in the program participating in both Vancouver and Surrey
There are eight different HEROS branches throughout Canada. That includes one in Calgary, where Baertschi first got involved with the organization.
A number of NHL players, like Baertschi, are ambassadors for the program. That includes a number of current and former Calgary Flames, like Jay Bouwmeester, Dougie Hamilton, and Curtis Lazar, among others.
A great day in Surrey yesterday with @SvenBaertschi and the guys from @NHLPA Goals &Dreams. Left 25 sets of gear behind to allow us to grow with our current HEROS and see new ones get on the ice pic.twitter.com/NTe2FnGgvr— HEROS Hockey (@heroshockey) December 5, 2017
Prior to the 2017-18 season, HEROS announced that Baertschi would donate $500 for every goal he scored this season.
So far, Baertschi’s goals have brought the organization $4,000.
If he stays healthy, Baertschi is on pace for 24 goals this season. That would net the organization $12,000 to help with nutrition costs for weekly programs, financial assistance for education, funding for career and vocational planning and financial aid for post-secondary & vocational training.