Jr. Ducks, Lady Ducks relish giving back to local communities
The spirit of giving isn’t just a once-a-year, holiday feeling for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks and Lady Ducks.
Throughout the year, the clubs and The Rinks are committed to contributing to the community at large as well as those in need in their own circles.
The Lady Ducks recent undertook a shoe drive, collecting hundreds of pairs from players’ friends, families and neighbors to be refurbished and distributed to needy people around the world.
“The kids put up signs and go around their neighborhoods to collect the shoes,” explained Lady Ducks director Kathy McGarrigle. “Our players are spread out, so it’s something we can do in different areas.
“The 8Us did a really good job of organizing it, collecting and sorting the shoes.”
The spirit is contagious within the club, where families watch out for one another across team lines.
Craig Johnson, the Jr. Ducks’ director of coaches and a Midget 16U AAA coach, told of a father of a player on one team who heard about a player on another team’s needs. The father stepped up and bought the young goaltender a new set of pads.
There are roughly a half-dozen families in the club who have opened up their homes to host players.
The giving spirit is not limited to current club members. Director of player personnel and Midget 16U AAA coach Alex Kim said a former Jr. Ducks player’s family has donated money to help families that need assistance during the season.
The Rinks also has launched a holiday equipment donation program in which it accepts new and used gear to distribute to players in need at all levels. Simply bring the gear to any Rinks location, including the ice rinks in Anaheim, Lakewood, Westminster and Yorba Linda and the inline facilities in Corona, Huntington Beach and Irvine.
— Chris Bayee