Raptors In The Community: Blog

DeMarre Christmas Carroll Bowling Night

DeMarre Carroll bowling with 10 lucky kids

No matter the city, no matter the team, DeMarre Carroll is always looking for opportunities to enrich the lives of the youth around him. On December 21st the 2nd annual DeMarre Christmas Carroll Bowling Night hosted 10 lucky boys and girls from the Rexdale based mentorship organization Trust 15, for an evening full of fun, laughter and of course, bowling. The Rinkz Event Center in the Rexdale area was filled with gifts courtesy of the DeMarre Christmas Carroll Foundation and holiday cheer as the young kids threw down some impressive strikes and spares.

Trust 15 is home to the Ladies on the Rise, Men of Distinction, Boys of Excellence and Girls on the Rise programs. DeMarre first surprised over 250 kids at a holiday party on November 7th that the organization was holding at North Kipling Junior Middle School. It was from there that 10 keen kids were chosen from a draw to attend the next month's bowling extravaganza.

The night was a grand accomplishment. Leaving the kids with treasured gifts, Carroll also showered them with inspiration and motivation to drive through adversity and to never halt the pursuit of success.

Kyle Lowry Holiday Assist

Kyle Lowry at a holiday shopping spree with elementary students

It was an exciting morning for students at St.Paul Catholic School as a surprise visit from Kyle Lowry announced what their morning would have in store. With excitement in the air, the unsuspecting students loaded the Lowry Holiday Assist bus and headed to a mystery location.

It was the Toys'R'Us located at Sherway Gardens that saw the influx of the 26 kids aged 6-13 who were joined by Kyle himself and a pack of dedicated volunteers to take part in a holiday shopping spree. With only 10 minutes to shop, the kids unleashed a frenzy of fun as they sprinted down the aisles grabbing all the items on their wish list.

Kyle's wife Ayahna was also a part of the mornings events and the Raptors mascot similarly got in on the action by running circles around the store making sure every child got what they needed. From Lego to chess sets, books to cards and dolls to trucks, the wide eyed students were alive with the holiday spirit and feeling the love from the Lowry's.

Students not only chose gifts for themselves but kindly picked out gifts for siblings and other family members, fostering Kyle's principal of generosity by giving back and spreading the holiday cheer.

Kyle and his wife have made it a priority to give back to the city that they represent and as this event goes into its third year, the Lowry Holiday Assist continues to grow and impact the community.

Holiday Helpers Delivery

Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam at the Holiday Helpers

The Toronto Raptors are fast paced on the court but this holiday season they took the time to give back to their community.

Practice ended on Thursday, December 15, 2016 and the Toronto Raptor Holiday Helper Crew began their trek through the snow and ice to deliver presents to families in need.

Jared Sullinger, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam, and Patrick Patterson first arrived at the Holiday Helpers warehouse to assist with wrapping and packing of hundreds of toys to be delivered to families throughout the city.

Once the presents were loaded up, the Raptors transitioned into Santa's delivery elves and took to the streets to personally deliver gifts to deserving families.

Norman Powell Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club (TKBGC) Visit

The youth at Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club went wild on Wednesday, December 7th when Toronto Raptor, Norman Powell, stepped in the room to surprise their after school program at Spruce Street Public School. Powell spent time in the gym playing ball before joining the reading and homework program. In the holiday spirit, Norman gifted the kids with Raptor Fan Packs and Raptor plush toys and donated new basketballs for their program.

Raps City Social

Cory Joseph at Raps City Social

On November 7th, 2016, the Toronto's Raptors became karaoke stars and ping-pong professionals as they participated in MLSE Foundation's annual signature event, Raps City Social, presented by Bell. This night was a chance for fans to mix and mingle with the Toronto Raptors team and Front Office staff, all while raising funds for MLSE Foundation's newest project, MLSE Launchpad. MLSE Launchpad is a 42, 000 sq ft youth Sport for Development facility that will use sport and education to promote social change, and will open Winter 2017.

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Norman Powell Boys and Girls Club Visit

Norman Powell at Boys and Girls Club

To kick off the holiday season, Raptors #24 Norman Powell made a surprise visit to the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club's after-school program on Wednesday, December 7th. In hopes of spreading some holiday cheer, Norman came with gifts for each of the kids and new basketballs for the program. He spent the evening with their youth basketball and reading programs, and of course, teaching everyone how to dunk like a pro.

Toronto Raptors Training Camp in Vancouver and Calgary

Toronto Raptors Training Camp

The Toronto Raptor's kicked off their pre-season with a trip to Vancouver and Calgary for their annual Training Camp. The pre-season line up included games against Golden State and Denver, youth camps and clinics, an afternoon bowling with Vancouver Firefighters and students from Brittania Secondary School, and a surprise visit to Holy Cross School in Calgary.

Raptors Coaches, Youth Coaches, Dance Pak, and volunteers pulled together three days of youth clinics while in Vancouver at Training Camp. These clinics brought many kids from across Vancouver out to teach them what it's like to train like a Toronto Raptor.

While in Vancouver the full team and coaches spent an afternoon out to support Brittania Secondary School's Men's and Women's Basketball Teams, who recently lost their longtime Coach to a long battle with Leukemia. In addition to the team and coaches, volunteers and Vancouver Firefighter Charities came out to create some positivity in memory of Coach Eric Ming.

The Toronto Raptors Youth Development Coaches and Alumni Muggsy Bogues wrapped up Training Camp with a surprise visit to Holy Cross School in Calgary where they ran clinics for the day and then surprised participants of the clinic with tickets to the game against Denver that evening. In addition to the clinic participants, 100 lucky students were given tickets to attend the game.

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Lowry's Thanksgiving Assist

Toronto Raptors Training Camp

Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry brought some Thanksgiving joy to Toronto on Thanksgiving weekend, when he and his and family spent their Friday evening handing out turkey dinners to families at Toronto Community Housing. Kyle and his family's effort was able to provide 100 families with a Thanksgiving dinner that they may not have been able to have otherwise. Kyle's foundation, the Lowry Love Foundation, does a similar initiative in his home town of Philadelphia, but this year he also wanted to support the city that supports him all season long.

Latest Raptors Make A Wish Initiative

Toronto Raptors starting guard DeMar DeRozan teamed up with Make-A-Wish® Canada to give a special fan an experience of a lifetime. Wish Kid, Arvin who suffers from Systemic Lupus, joined DeMar for the day – both on and off the court. From spending his morning watching DeMar go through his game day warm up routine, a shopping spree at the team store, meeting Coach Casey and the team during their morning shoot around, DeMar made sure Arvin enjoyed his time at the Air Canada Centre. The wish wrapped up for Arvin who spent the evening in style as DeMar's guest of honour during the Raptors vs Hawks game.

Annette Public School Raptors Pep Rally

Annette Public School Raptors Pep Rally

The Toronto Raptors teamed up with Annette Junior and Senior Public School on Friday May 13th to assist with their student led pep-rally. Over 600 students, decked out in Raptors jerseys and playoff t-shirts, chanted "Let's Go Raptors" and "We The North" loud enough for the neighbourhood to hear all in support of the team as they entered into Games 6 and 7 vs the Miami Heat of the NBA Playoffs. The students led cheers, shared why the team is so important to them, performed dance routines and basketball demonstrations all while raising funds for the Fort McMurry wild fire relief efforts. After hearing of all the great work the students at the school were doing for the Alberta residents, the real Raptor himself made a special appearance along with members of the Raptors Dance Pak team.

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DeMar's Holiday Make A Wish Initiative

DeMar DeRozan helped make Raptors fans wishes come true as he took part in the Make A Wish initiative over the holidays.

DeMar's Slam Dunk Book Club & All Star Book Program

DeMar's Book Club

DeMar's passion for literacy has been an unmistakable theme throughout his career here in Toronto. By providing resources to youth, DeMar has bridged the gap by removing financial barriers for students, allowing them to improve their reading and comprehension skills. With two independent literacy programs across the Greater Toronto Area, DeMar has empowered more than 2,000 students from low-income areas through his Slam Dunk Book Club and newly launched DeMar DeRozan All Star Book Program.