Release: Oilers Continue Walter Gretzky’s Legacy to Help Families In Need

Oilers Multi-Day 50/50 Raffle in Support of Food Banks Alberta

November 30, 2022 (Edmonton, Alberta) – In honour of Canada’s hockey dad and Oil Country legend, Walter Gretzky, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) is partnering with Food Banks Alberta to ensure no Albertan family goes hungry this winter. 

Food insecurity in Alberta is the highest in the country with many families in the province still feeling the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with rising food costs due to inflation. From 2019 to 2022, there was a 73% provincial increase in food bank use, more than double the national average. Close to half of the food bank users in Alberta are families, which includes just under 60,000 children. 

“Walter Gretzky was a dear friend of the Oilers organization and we are honoured to work with the Gretzky family to continue his legacy of caring deeply for communities and families in need,” says Tim Shipton, Executive Vice President, OEG Sports & Entertainment. “So many families across Alberta are struggling to put food on the table and we know Walter would be proud to see communities across Oil Country come together to help each other in this time of urgent need.”

“With record numbers of hard-working parents struggling to feed their families, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is proud to partner with Food Banks Alberta,” says Corey Smith, EOCF Board Chair. “Many Albertan families are still feeling the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic—whether they couldn’t work, lost their jobs or had to close their business—and now inflation is making this a perfect storm of food insecurity. We encourage Albertans to come together once again to help feed our fellow Albertans when they need it most.”

“We are beyond grateful for the support from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation this holiday season,” says Arianna Scott, CEO of Food Banks Alberta. “One in five Albertans are experiencing food insecurity right now—that’s 20% of our province. This financial support will enable Food Banks Alberta to provide essential food supports to food banks across the province. No Albertan deserves to go hungry, especially this holiday season.”

“Food bank use here in Alberta is up 73% since 2019. It goes without saying that we haven’t seen anything like this in our Association’s history – the unrelenting demand from our communities that need help from the food bank,” says Eric Motuzas, Board Chair of Food Banks Alberta. “The support from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation could not have come at a more critical time, as our member food banks face the increase in demand, coupled with the holiday rush. Thank you for your continued support, and recognizing that every Albertan deserves to eat.” 

Food banks are seeing a decrease in donations and a rise in demand for support. Coupled with inflation, grocery prices have reached a 41-year high, resulting in a decreased capacity for individuals to donate to their food bank or support charitable initiatives.

The current raffle runs from November 30 to December 3 and has a number of early bird prizes up for grabs—including a 2022 Ford Bronco Sport R9B, Oilers tickets, an Oilers Team Store shopping spree, a JW Marriott Hotel New Year’s Eve package, cash prizes and more.

On November 30, those who purchase $100 in 50/50 tickets will continue receive $25 for Century Hospitality Group Restaurants and a $25 Casino Bonus for Play Alberta. Starting December 1, those who purchase $100 in 50/50 tickets will receive $25 for Boston Pizza and a $25 Sports Bet for Play Alberta.

Tickets are available anywhere in Alberta at

About Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation
The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) is a proud supporter of Oil Country and has been contributing to our community’s success since 2001. With a focus on programs aimed at those most vulnerable in our community, especially in Edmonton’s downtown, and youth hockey programming with a goal to increase participation of under-represented groups in our community, the Oilers Foundation is dedicated to building strong, vibrant and safe communities by demonstrating philanthropic leadership and continues its deep legacy of giving back. Thanks to the generosity of our valued hockey fans, Oilers players and alumni, the EOCF Board of Directors, Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) employees and the Katz Family, the Foundation has contributed over $86 million to more than 2900 charitable organizations and minor hockey programs across Oil Country since 2001.

About Foodbanks Alberta
Food Banks Alberta is the provincial association of food banks in Alberta, with a mission to strengthen the impact of the provincial food bank network by creating new opportunities, increasing knowledge, providing resources, and delivering innovative programs. We seed connections for positive social change. We are composed of a strong network of more than 110 member food banks across Alberta.

For additional information, please contact: 

Kevin Rapanos
OEG Sports & Entertainment

Shannon Donogh

Food Banks Alberta, Media Relations


Natalie Harper

Food Banks Alberta, Media Relations