A campaign to gift the northern Ontario community of Fort Hope First Nation with an ice pad is getting closer to reality.
Earlier this year, Katie and Steve Koopman helped to raise money to allow the Rez Girls hockey team to take part in their first hockey tournament.
They travelled to Ottawa in for the spring tournament.
This fall, they set the bar a little higher.
“I had a big goal of trying to reach $90,000 in 30 days,” said Katie Koopman. “We are into our second month, but we are just over two-thirds funded, which is really amazing.”
The Koopmans began a GoFundMe campaign with the hopes of building a proper ice pad for the Rez Girls hockey team.
They say although the pad won’t be in place for this hockey season, they plan to keep pushing on with the campaign.
The Rez Girls are a PeeWee hockey team that gained attention and the hearts of man both on and off the ice during a house league tournament in March.
According to the Koopmans, social media has played a big role in the success of the fund raising efforts.
“Many of the donations come from people who play hockey themselves,” said Katie Koopman.
“Their children play hockey it is their own act of reconciliation and they just believe in the effort and determination of these girls and coaches want to see them gifted with an ice rink, that every other kid in Canada has access to.”
The Rez Girls probably won’t be able to practice on a new ice pad in their community this winter – but that won’t stop them from playing hockey.
Koopman says the team will be heading to Kingston for a tournament this spring.