Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Fund to make kids' hockey dreams come true
The Allard family came together as one team to take part in the Chapeau Family Hockey Tournament from March 24-25 in honour of Ethan Allard who passed away in January. Of the four teams in the A Division, the Allard team came out victorious. In back row (left to right) are Ethan's cousin Caleb Dubeau, Ethan's brother Kyle Allard, Kyle's wife Stephani, Kyle's son Austen, Shawn's (Ethan's brother) wife Andrea, Ethan's brother Tyson, Ethan's father Shane (holding Ethan's hockey jersey), Adam's (Ethan's brother) wife Rachael with her daughter Audrey, Ethan's sister Paige, Ethan's sister Hope, Hope's daughter Braelynn and Ethan's sister Faith. In middle row (left to right) are Shawn's (Ethan's brother) sons Tristan, William and Sutton, Ethan's brother Shawn, Justin and Adam, Justin's wife Jamie, Ethan's mother Linda and Ethan's brother Jamie and Cole. In front row (left to right) are Ethan's sisters Holly and Felicity next to his nephews/nieces Owen, Payton, Justin Jr., Brennick and Ashley.
Ethan Allard was a true ice warrior with a heart of gold and an indelible love for the game of hockey.
Both on and off the ice, he was fearless, passionate and had raw grit that led him to achieve admirable success in many areas of life.
“He had this true grit in everything he did, it didn’t matter what it was. He just had so much faith and no fear – if he said he would do something, he'd do it,” said Linda Allard, Ethan’s mom.
After strapping on a pair of skates at the young age of three, Ethan kicked off his minor hockey career with the Petawawa Patriots which eventually led him to play Junior B and Junior A hockey with many Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) teams including the Cornwall Colts, the Kemptville 73’s and the Pembroke Lumber Kings.
Aside from his immeasurable love for Canada’s game, Ethan had a special place in his heart for the Ottawa Valley and he cared deeply for kids and wanted to ensure that all kids in the area had the opportunity to learn and play the good ol’ hockey game.
Now, Ethan’s family plans to carry on his hockey-fuelled dreams, as the beloved 24-year-old lost his life in an industrial accident this past January.
In loving memory of Ethan, the Allard family has founded the Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Fund (EAMHF).
With the donations they accrue, Ethan’s family hopes to fund local kids’ and teens’ dreams of playing hockey – in the form of scholarships and funds to cover the cost of hockey equipment and registration for local youth.
“Through the Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Fund, we plan to raise money to help local kids afford to play the game of hockey as my deceased brother was a very skilled hockey player who loved kids and his hometown (Petawawa) very much,” said Holly Allard, Ethan’s eldest sister.
“This is all about honouring Ethan and what he would do if he had this to give, because he was the most giving person ever,” said Felicity Allard, Ethan’s youngest sister. “So we're raising funds to help kids play hockey because playing hockey can be very expensive with equipment and registration costs, and Ethan’s biggest loves were hockey and kids.”
“We're going to be able to support those kids and they're going to get registered and they're going to get the equipment they need. No matter what they need, that child is getting on the ice and they're going to experience it,” added Linda.
On March 24 at the Chapeau Family Hockey Tournament (at the Upper Pontiac Sports Complex in Chapeau, Que), more than a dozen members of the Allard family all came together to play in the tournament in honour of Ethan.
Prior to their game, the Allards all gathered together on the ice to present the tournament organizers – Evan Schryer and Dan Godin – with the very first EAMHF donation.
The donation consisted of $500 – from community donations to the EAMHF – to go towards the area’s minor hockey league along with a $2,000 automated external defibrillator (AED) – funded by Cardiac Science Canada in partnership with the EAMHF.
“My brother Adam works for Cardiac Science Canada and he noticed that the one at the Chapeau arena was dead, so he wants one available there in case anything happened to anyone at that arena,” said Holly. “It’s being funded by Cardiac Science, but in partnership with our charity.”
Following the cheque presentation, the tournament honoured Ethan by having his #9 hockey jersey retired at the arena.
“Ethan played in this tournament for many years and it was the organizers’ idea to have his jersey retired in the arena because they knew Ethan and they were thankful he was a part of the tournament and they wanted to honour him,” said Linda.
Thereafter, members of the Allard family hit the ice for their first game of the tournament while other members cheered them on from the bleachers.
The Allard’s team consisted of all seven of Ethan’s brothers along with a couple of his cousins, nephews and an uncle.
They all sported customized bright yellow Allard family hockey jerseys with a large ‘A’ on the front and Ethan’s #9 on the sleeve.
According to Ethan’s brother Jamie, while all of the brothers have played hockey their entire lives, this was the first time that they were all playing together on the same team in a tournament.
“This is actually the first time that all of us brothers are playing together. We never played together until now because of the difference in age between us. I’m 14 years older than Ethan was so we just never got the chance to all play together,” said Jamie, who travelled all the way from Washington, D.C. to join his family at the tournament. “So we just never had a chance but now we do, and we’re doing it for Ethan. It actually feels kind of surreal and it’s pretty emotional. It’s a pretty crazy feeling right now.”
“It's incredible. We didn’t know we'd ever be able to play with each other like this, but it's amazing that we get the chance to do something like this now,” said Cole, the youngest of the eight Allard boys. “This is the first time we’re playing altogether as brothers and we're going to do this for him. It's pretty emotional but we’re going to go out there and play for him and hopefully win for him.”
On Saturday, the final day of the tournament, the Allard team did exactly that – of the four teams in Division A, the Allard team came out victorious.
Into the future, Linda said that the EAMHF will continue to remain a family affair as they all plan to work together to keep Ethan’s memory alive by spreading his love for hockey to youth throughout the region.
Next year, the family plans to host the first annual Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Tournament in Petawawa along with creating a trophy in his name.
“Petawawa is where Ethan grew up, so next year we're looking to host that tournament for the first time,” said Felicity. “We just really are trying to do something that Ethan would have loved to have done which is giving back to his community and supporting kids’ dreams of playing hockey.”
Anyone interested in making a donation can visit the "Ethan Allard Memorial Hockey Fund" Facebook page for more information and to support the Allard family's charitable efforts.