Panthers visit Toronto for cultural exchange program

The Manitoulin Panthers peewee hockey team and the Greater Toronto Hockey League Ducks team (from the) were presented with a painting by the artist Little Brown Bear.

MANITOULIN – The Manitoulin Panthers pee wee team capped off a cultural exchange with a team from Toronto this past weekend, having a lot of fun in the process.

“This trip and the friends that the players made during this cultural exchange will last a lifetime,” stated Scot Hughson, coach of the Manitoulin Panthers peewee hockey team of its cultural exchange visit with the Ducks peewee hockey team, a greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) team in Toronto last weekend. In December the members of the Ducks (a team made up of Jewish hockey players) had visited Manitoulin in December as part of the cultural exchange between the two teams.

“It was a fantastic weekend,” stated Mr. Hughson of the trip the Panthers made this past weekend. “As part of the trip we visited the Ducks team at a synagogue in Toronto, where we learned about Jewish beliefs had a Shabbat (dinner), which included symbolic significant prayers given after each course of the meal. The Shabbat is held every Friday as part of the Jewish culture.”

“On Saturday all the players visited the Hockey Hall of Fame which took up a good part of the day,” said Mr. Hughson. “Then our two teams played an exhibition game; we lost 3-0. The Member of Parliament for their area was there along with one of the city councillors to drop the puck for the game and then they presented both teams a beautiful painting from the artist Little Brown Bear.”

“On Sunday we travelled with the Ducks team to the Michael Garron Hospital,” said Mr. Hughson. He pointed out, “one of the Ducks players parents is a doctor there and that is where the Ducks have focused their efforts in helping out the hospital for the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup Challenge. We all painted a bunch of the ceiling tiles in the hallways to provide encouragement to all the patients in the hospital.” 

Mr. Hughson pointed out as well, “ a lot of our players billeted with the Ducks players families for the weekend. We are talking about getting together and have a baseball game this summer.”

As was previously reported the Ducks team had visited the Panthers and Manitoulin Island prior in December and the Ducks had made a donation of $1,000 to the Panthers in their fundraising efforts for the Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) Christmas Food Basket campaign.

The Panthers raised over $6,000 through its fundraising efforts and had collected a tremendous amount of food items for the MFR Christmas Food Basket campaign. 

Both the Panthers and Ducks teams are in the running for the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup Challenge.