PERHAPS YOU HAVE BUMPED INTO A FEW LAVAL ROCKET PLAYERS AND THEIR POPULAR MASCOT COSMO IN A LOCAL ARENA, AT A DAY CAMP, IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL OR AT A MAJOR EVENT IN LAVAL?

Since its inaugural season, the Rocket has been committed to the Laval community. On the ice, the Rocket strive to be a team that fans can be proud of, a team that provides a thrilling performance for the thousands of fans who cheer on their favourite players at games.

It’s well-known that the team’s main mission is to help the Montreal Canadiens’ best recruits hone their skills to allow them to shine in the National Hockey League, while donning bleu-blanc-rouge. However, there is another part of the Rocket’s identity that remains relatively hidden from the public eye.

Off the rink, the team aims to play a key role in the community by supporting non-profit organizations and foundations. It is well known that sports can help heal many ailments, and the Laval Rocket’s community and social engagement have demonstrated as much. Through various programs and initiatives, the team hopes to increase their involvement in the community.

In just two seasons, the Rocket has donated over $300,000 to more than 100 non-profit organizations in and around Laval through its fundraising program, the 50-50 lottery that takes place on game days, and its in-kind donation program of tickets and promotional items. Several school boards in the region, the Collège Montmorency foundation, the Alpabem and Laval’s youth centre foundation are but a few examples of the non-profit organizations that have teamed up with the Rocket to support their programs aiming to contribute to the collective well-being.

“As a proud member of the Laval Rocket, we believe that all causes deserve our attention. Part of our mission as a team is to encourage projects and causes that favour our youths’ development through reading and playing sports, but we are also very involved in initiatives that encourage citizens’ overall well-being,” said Mark Weightman, the Vice-President of Development and Operations of the Laval Rocket and Place Bell. “Our fundraising and in-kind donation of ticket and signed items programs allow us to give back a considerable amount of money that allows these organizations to increase funding for their activities, and ultimately have a positive impact on people’s lives,” added Weightman.

The Rocket’s partnership with the Cité de la Santé Foundation remains a great source of pride for the organization. Their joint fundraising efforts have allowed them to raise over $20,000 to support the Foundation’s mission: providing help to improve health care and services offered by the CISSS de Laval.

The Rocket’s representatives also took the opportunity to present a $4,000 cheque to the foundation’s general director, Mr. André Malacket, and the President and CEO of the CISSS de Laval, M. Christian Gagné. The amount was raised during the “Hockey Fights Cancer” night back on November 2.

“The $4,000 raised will allow for the financing of projects for patients and the acquisition of essential medical equipment to treat cancer in our region. On top of the amount raised, this partnership with the Laval Rocket is a rich one for us, as it has created joyful moments for people like Julie and Normand [cancer survivors and the Rocket’s guests of honour on November 2, 2018]. That’s what it means to take care of our own,” declared Malacket.

The team is inspired by the set of core values of teamwork, mutual respect, and inclusion. As the Rocket’s third season approaches, the goal for Mark Weightman’s team is clear: continue the work they began two years ago to build and solidify their bond with fans by supporting foundations and non-profit organisations that matter to the people of Laval.

With some of Montreal’s best recruits set to don the Rocket’s jersey this season, the team is not only ready to play exciting hockey on the ice but also intends to remain a significant boon of support for the leaders in their community who work diligently to make a real difference in the lives of citizens.