MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 2, 2010- For National Hockey League veteran Georges Laraque the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12 strikes a deep chord. Born to Haitian parents, and with family still unaccounted for on the island nation, he is leading a call to action on behalf of Haiti.
Last Tuesday Laraque visited the English Montreal School Board’s LaurenHill Academy Senior Campus in St. Laurent to accept a cheque for $6,506 for his World Vision project to build a new hospital in Haiti. A week earlier Laraque promised that he would personally visit the EMSB school that raised the most money for the cause. He is now calling on other schools across the country to equal or better the LaurenHill donation and promises to make more visits to talk to students and even play sports with them.
Laraque was given several ovations from an adoring audience of students who showed that he still among their favourite players, despite the fact the Canadiens told him they are not interested in his services anymore.
At LaurenHill, IceJerseys.com unveiled their official Hockey for Haiti jersey and present it to Laraque. Gary Schwartz and Anthony Wolfe of IceJerseys.com also introduced a line of Hockey for Haiti apparel, including t-shirts and hoodies, with all proceeds being designated for the Laraque project. All of the merchandise is available for purchase exclusively at IceJerseys.com by going to www.icejerseys.com/haiti.
The Hockey For Haiti project teams up Laraque, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund and World Vision Canada to help strengthen Haiti’s ability to provide critical medical and healthcare for the earthquake’s survivors and affected communities by:
- Helping to build and support a health clinic in one or more of World Vision’s Area Development Programs. Clinics will also be provided with medicines, like antibiotics, antimalarials and de-worming drugs, vitamins, aspirin, bandages, syringes, bed nets and more. This will help strengthen the community’s ability to provide immediate and sustainable medical and health solutions to survivors and the community at large;
- Helping to restore the damage to the Grace Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1967, Grace Children’s Hospital is recognized as Haiti’s leading medical facility dedicated to the treatment of children with tuberculosis (TB). Each year, the hospital receives thousands of children who are suffering from TB, HIV and other diseases; and/or
- Contributing to World Vision’s short term Haiti emergency relief efforts and long term development work to bring fullness of life to children, their families and communities
“Haiti is, to start, one of the poorest countries in the world,” says Laraque. “So, this catastrophe makes things really complicated. My parents were born there and I still have family there. Most of them are safe, but I’m still waiting to hear from some of them.
“After a lot of thoughts, after talking to many people about the immediate needs in Haiti, we all came to realize that a hospital would be the best way to go. Let's help these poor people rebuild their nation.”
Laraque plans to visit Haiti personally as part of a World Vision Canada mission within the next month.
All EMSB schools continue to raise money for a wide array of charitable causes for Haiti relief.
For more details go to www.georgeslaraque.com or www.worldvision.ca/hockey.