WestJetter’s vision brings meaningful hockey donation to Cat Lake First Nation
April 12, 2022
2 min read
WestJet, Mikinakoos Children’s Fund and North Star Air partner to support donation of 667lbs of hockey equipment to remote fly-in only community
When WestJet employee, Clifford ‘Cliff’ Comber, Manager, Finance, Materials was looking to donate his children’s outgrown hockey equipment to his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ont., his plan was simply to fly the bags on WestJet to Thunder Bay and have a family member drive the equipment up north to be passed on to Indigenous youth to utilize. This plan quickly turned complicated when Comber reached out to the local hockey teams in his Oakville, Ont., community and to his surprise, two bags of equipment turned into 25. With nearly 700 pounds of equipment now to donate, Comber turned to his own team to see what could be done.
“We knew the impact this amount of equipment could have since sports are such an important part of childhood that teach many life skills,” said Comber. “We’re in a unique position as an airline to use our resources to distribute goods to communities in need of support.”
Thanks to a small group of WestJet employees, Cliff was soon in touch with Jeff Stout, President and COO, North Star Air and board member for Mikinakoos Children's Fund, a charity that works to distribute food, clothing, and other supports, including sporting equipment, to remote First Nations in northwestern Ontario.
“As our eyes and ears on the ground, we knew Mikinakoos would best understand who would benefit from this donation and how to distribute equipment efficiently,” said North Star Air’s President and COO Jeff Stout.
A fly-in-only community, Cat Lake has an ice rink and hockey players but doesn’t have all the means to play the game. Through WestJet’s partnership with North Star and Mikinakoos Children’s Fund, the donation of equipment will go towards ensuring youth have more access to the game.