SUN Hockey Pool

Lockout hurting charities

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

The cancellation of the NHL season has levelled a crushing blow to the city's charities.

No one may be feeling the sting more than the Calgary Flames' young fans, said Kids Up Front Foundation executive director Barb Radu.

"The Flames are our biggest partner in terms of opportunity," said Radu, whose organization took 11,277 kids to NHL hockey last year at the Saddledome.

The cancellation of the 2004-05 campaign assures this number will drop to zero this season.

And that's a shame, Radu said.

"One ticket can thrill a child for weeks," she said.

Meanwhile, the Flames Foundation -- which usually donates about $1 million annually to local charities -- has been less generous during this non-season, foundation spokesperson Peter Hanlon said.

The foundation's biggest fund-raiser -- the 50/50 lottery during Flames games -- won't collect a cent this season. Hanlon said the foundation's contributions will be slashed by two-thirds due to the lockout.

Kids Cancer Care of Alberta has turned to its contingency plan. This season, the WHL Calgary Hitmen -- instead of the Flames -- is donating $100 to Kids Cancer Care for every goal the team tallies.


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