It is all systems go for the 35TH annual Rotary Skate-a-thon , at the General Motors Centre , at Athol and Mary Streets  in downtown Oshawa, on Sunday, November 16 starting at 12:00 noon.


“Vince Vella and his team at the General Motors Centre announced that they are very pleased to be the hosts, for the eighth consecutive year, of the Rotary Skate-a-thon. The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood is very excited about giving all of the skaters in the Skate-a-thon the opportunity to skate on the same ice as the Oshawa Generals at at General Motors Centre. We want to say a big thank you to General Motors Centre, the City of Oshawa, and Global Spectrum for opening their doors to the kids of Oshawa, again, this year”, Dave Andrews, Rotary Club Past President announced today.


All of the hockey teams and skating organizations in Oshawa have been invited. Clubs from the Oshawa Church Hockey League, the Neighbourhood Association (Parks) League, the Oshawa Minor Hockey Association, the Oshawa Girls Hockey League, the Oshawa Ladies Hockey Association, the Catholic Youth Organization,  the Oshawa Skating Club,  the Oshawa Girls Ringette League, Durham Synchronized Skating  and Durham Speed Skating  have all been invited.


“And we are very pleased that the Durham Dragons hockey organization are with us again for another year. Durham Dragons Special Hockey is an ice hockey program designed for individuals of all ages who are developmentally challenged that would otherwise not be able to play Canada's  number one sport. Each weekend players experience the thrill and camaraderie that is part of a hockey team. It's not just hockey. It's so much more. The Durham Dragons have decided to make this, their big fund raiser this year. They always have a great time at the Rotary Skate-a-thon and they raise lots of money for their organization and for Rotary. I am very proud of the players, their coaches and their parents,” Mr. Andrews added.


“The Skate-a-thon pledge sheets have been delivered, and now it is up to the players,   coaches and their executive, who have made the commitment to help Rotary and help their organization raise money. And now, the rest will be up to the skaters and their parents. The kids will be asking their friends, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbours on their street to sponsor them. Don’t be surprised if you get asked to sponsor one of the participants,” Rotary Club President Robbie Larocque, announced.


“This is a major fundraising event for them, and for the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood. Basically, one-third of the funds raised goes to expenses (printing of pledge sheets and prizes for the skaters); one-third goes directly back to the participating organization, and one-third goes to the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood for our Rotary community service projects.”


“The high cost of hockey and all ice sports in Canada gets higher and higher every year and it is a tremendous burden on the parents. This is a great way for the organizations to raise funds to help cut down those expenses” Mr. Andrews added.


Proceeds from the Skate-a-thon will help the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood   support several community services such as: Lakeridge Health - Oshawa, the R. S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre, many Oshawa Senior Citizens organizations, handicapped adults, Grandview Children’s Centre, Hearthplace, Eastview Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA, Mary Street Community School, and the Kids’ Safety Village of Durham Region, Simcoe Hall and the Salvation Army,  just to name a few.


For the past 34 years, the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood and the various skating clubs and organizations have participated in this, the longest continuous running Skate-a-thon in Canada.


During the last 34 years, over $ 530,700 in net profits has been divided equally, with $265,250 going directly to the participating skating clubs and organizations and $265,250 going to the many charities helped by the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood.


“Last year, the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood and the participating skating clubs and organizations decided to put their efforts behind the Skate-a-thon, and gave it the time that it really deserves. We handed over $ 1,650 to the skating clubs and organizations and $1,650 to Rotary charities”, Rotary Club President Robbie Larocque said.


“This year, for the seventh consecutive year, we will give a special bonus to a skating club or organization that collects $1,000.00. For example, if the club collects $1,000.00, they will receive their normal share of the profits (usually over $300.00 for every $1,000 raised), plus the prizes for the skaters plus a special bonus cheque of $250.00.  And for every additional $1,000.00 they collect, they will receive an additional bonus cheque of $250.00, plus the normal proceeds, and prizes for the skaters,” President Larocque announced.


The 35th Annual Skate-a-thon will take place, on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at the General Motors Centre in downtown Oshawa at Athol & Mary Streets. Over 100 skaters are expected to participate.


On Sunday, November 16, the actual skating takes place. The skaters, will register, hand in the money they have collected, and choose their prize. They will skate their laps and then, within two weeks after the Skate-a-thon, Rotarians will deliver their prizes.


“This may be the very first time that many of the children have raised funds, not only for their own club, but also for the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood, and their many charities. For many youngsters, it is their first community service project. We are very proud of them to want to help others in Oshawa and the surrounding communities,” President Robbie Larocque said.  


Dave Andrews added “The Oshawa Generals have been huge supporters of the Skate-a-thon for all 34 years of the Skate-a-thon, and this year is no exception. Team policy dictates that the Generals cannot make public appearances at the actual November 16 Skate-a-thon but they are still very big supporters.”


Again this year, the Oshawa Generals have again added their very unique incentive to the Skate-a-thon with one amazing prize. The skater who turns in the most money will become an Oshawa Generals “Fan For A Day”. The skater will receive 4 tickets to a Generals game, a tour the sound room that runs the giant videotron, and after the game they will be escorted downstairs to an area just outside the Generals dressing room , where they will be able to meet some of the Generals, take some photos and get some autographs.


“The Oshawa Generals management team of Jason Hickman, and the entire organization has helped the Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood and the skaters each and every year with the Skate-a-thon prizes and in the early years, even team member appearances. The Generals have always been a great friend to Rotary for all 35 years of the Skate-a-thon,” Dave Andrews added.


Mr. Andrews announced “By the end of November 2014, the participating organization can expect to get their cheque, so they can use their portion of the Skate-a-thon profits, during this winter season, and help pay for some of the many expenses of running their skating activities.


“ Everyone benefits from the Skate-a-thon”, said  Mr. Andrews.


“If there are any individuals in Oshawa that want to go out and get pledges, skate, get great prizes and raise money for Rotary, please let us know. We can get pledge sheets delivered to them and they can be part of the longest running Skate-a-thon in Canada on Sunday, November 16, 2014,” Mr. Andrews announced. He can be reached by email at


Rotary brings together a global network of volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members from 200 countries and geographical regions. Their work impacts lives both at the local and international levels, from helping families in need, right here in Oshawa.

Rotarians are neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.  With differing occupations, cultures, and countries, Rotarians are given a unique perspective. Their shared passion for service helps Rotarians accomplish the remarkable.

The Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood has been serving the Durham Region for over 38 years through various fund raising endeavors. If you would like to learn more about Rotary or become a member, please call Membership Director Lennis Trotter at 905-576-6869.


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