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Hat trick program helps children play hockey

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It is not often you see young children who want to help out others in need, but it does happen.
Eight-year-old Ryder Rodriguez of Ste. Rose is one example of a young philanthropist helping others through his Hat Trick program.
The Hat Trick program has three goals. One is to raise money for three children to play hockey.
“We already raised for two that are from Ste. Rose. And now we are raising for one in Dauphin,” he said, adding money was raised through raffles, bake sales and barbecues.
The second goal is to get businesses to sponsor a player and the third goal is for True North Youth Foundation to sponsor a player, thus creating a hat trick.
Rodriguez started the program in April to raise money for children to play hockey, who could not otherwise afford it.
“There was a kid on our team that thought he couldn’t play because they didn’t have enough money. And he was one of the best players on our team,” he said.
Rodriguez, who is entering his first year of atom this fall, raised money for his teammate to play and local Ste. Rose businesses raised money to sponsor a second child.
Now Rodriguez has his sights set on helping a third player, this one in Dauphin, again with the help of local businesses.
With this in mind, Rodriguez will be selling raffle tickets, Thursday at Dauphin Co-op Food Store from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
First prize is a signed Winnipeg Jets jersey, second prize is two Jets tickets and a hotel stay and third prize is a Dauphin Kings 10-pack.
Tickets are $5 each.
The goal is to raise $1,000 for each child Rodriguez sponsors. The money is used to pay registration fees, equipment and transportation costs.
“So it’s up to $1,000 per kid,” his mother Rhonna said.
“So once it’s done, it’s done. But it definitely helps out.”
Rhonna said there is an application process. Applications are sent away to an accountant.
“It was outsourced, so it was picked by someone who doesn’t know (the applicant),” she said, adding they hope to do it again next year and would like to see more children involved.
Rodriguez also spearheaded the Beanies for Preemies project, which raised money to purchase yarn which was made into 400 beanies which were donated to children’s hospitals for premature babies.
Rodriguez also raised $1,500, which was split into three $500 donations, one to Cancer Care, another to the Children’s Hospital and the third to the True North Youth Foundation.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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