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Jonathan Toews scores for the Children's Wish Foundation

Jun 24, 2007

Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks at Aikens Lake As part of our continued commitment to our community and to various charities, we donated a trip to the Children's Wish Foundation so that they could raise funds for the various wishes they make come true! It was our first involvement with this particular charity. Back in February, we attended a fantastic evening and auction at a downtown Winnipeg hotel where the high bidder for our auction, Mr. Nick Leitch of East St-Paul, won a trip for two to fish with burgeoning NHL superstar Jonathan Toews and his father Bryan. Jonathan Toews with trophy walleye at Aikens LakeBryan Toews with a great laker The 19-year old Jonathan Toews, the 3rd overall draft pick in last year's NHL entry draft, is getting ready for his first pro training camp with the Chicago Blackhawks next fall. However, he already has a long list of hockey credentials... especially in international play! Jonathan has won the World Junior Hockey Championship as a member of Team Canada in back to back years. He was also the star of the under 17 team a few years back. Most recently, after finishing up a distinguished college career with the UND Fighting Sious, he won gold again for Team Canada at this springs IIHF World Hockey Championship. It was his first experience playing with bonafide NHL stars, and he certainly wasn't out of place! Having grown up in Winnipeg, he is already a local legend who is just about to embark into a long and productive NHL career. Nick Leitch with 28Cole Leitch shows off another big walleye Having never met before, it didn't take long to realize that Nick and his son Cole seemed like a perfect fit for a trip with Bryan and Jonathan. Cole had just finished up a junior hockey career, and so the families had a lot in common. There were laughs right from the start. On day 2, the good times kept on rolling... especially after a friendly bet the fathers had made with the sons; biggest walleye of the day would have one side sitting at the bar and the other side serving them their drinks all night! The fathers figured they had the competition won when Nick pulled in a 28" walleye early that day, but as we learned at the World Jr. Championship, Jonathan Toews is a clutch performer (he scored three shootout goals on three attempts to help eliminate the USA in the semi-finals). Jonathan pulled in a 29" beauty just before meeting up for shorelunch. That night in the bar, the boys were waited on hand and foot! That was the kind of fun they had during the whole trip. All in all, it was a great trip for the hosts, for the winners, but especially for the Children's Wish Foundation of Manitoba. We hope that the large amount of money raised will help them make a child's wish come true... who knows - it could be that one day someone will ask to fish at Aikens Lake with Jonathan himself!