By Jesse Thomas
More than 5,000 cheap seats are still available for tonight’s Toronto Rock game at the Air Canada Centre – if they sell it out team owner Jamie Dawick has agreed to donate $25,000 out of his own pocket to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
“If all you have to do is give some food and spend 10 bucks to see a great lacrosse game I think its well worth it to come out and support a great cause,” said Toronto Rock’s leading scorer Garret Billings.
For tonight’s game against the Colorado Mammoth, the Rock has reduced upper bowl ticket to $10 with a non-perishable food donation.
“It was really cool to see Jamie get in there and help out and really put his money where his mouth is,” said Billings.
Billings and teammates Kyle Belton, Stephan LeBlanc, Rock owner Jamie Dawick and members of the cheerleading team travelled to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto this week to help sort out food donations and prepare boxes for delivery.
“Every year we pick a charity,” said Dawick. “One of the proposed causes was the food bank this year and we thought not only was hunger a worthy cause, we knew we could raise some money for them but we can also encourage our fans to bring in food donations as well.”
Ticket sales have been be going well so far and it looks like the Rock will have its biggest crowd of the year.
“Barring a miracle,” Dawick doesn’t think they’ll see a sellout tonight but it won’t be a bust. The team expects to bring in more than 25,000 dollars in a player jersey auction after the game and Dawick said Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment group has agreed to donate a dollar for every ticket sold tonight.
“We have a loyal of group of 11,000 lacrosse fans on average who are very passionate and will be there,” said Dawick. “But we are calling on the city of Toronto to come out –just buying one ten dollar ticket helps a lot.”
Dawick said even if you’re not familiar with lacrosse, this is the best and most affordable ticket in town.
“I feel like we’ve had more media coverage this week then my entire four years,” he said. “This week we’ve had a ton of media coverage, with TSN radio helping a lot, going above and beyond out contract agreement to help promote the game.”
The Daily Bread Food Bank is thankful the Rock got involved to help fight hunger in the community.
“The Rock pick a charity every year and they decided hunger in the Toronto community was a necessary cause this year,” said Sarah Anderson, senior manager of communications and marketing for the food bank.
“It’s good timing for the fundraiser, and we have a spring food drive that’s kicking off March 16th and we’re gearing up for that, as hunger is something that doesn’t take a day off.”
The Daily Bread Food bank helps provide food and support to more than 200 food programs.
“We’re always trying to raise enough food and funds for all our organizations,” said Anderson.
“It was nice to have some of the Rock players and cheerleaders come out and volunteer and see how we operate. It seems there is a really good buzz about the game and hopefully the Rock have a really good turnout and reach their goals.”
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