Posted By: Michael Cecchin
With 17 gold medals and 4 silver medals under her belt, there is no denying the fact that Cassie Campbell is one of the most influential figures in Canadian women’s hockey. As the only Canadian captain, male or female, to lead Canada to two Olympic gold medals, her place in Canadian sports history will forever be held. She represented the maple leaf with respect, pride and honour as she served as the team captain from 2001 until her retirement in 2006; making her the longest serving captain in Canadian hockey history. Her hard work and giving spirit on the ice was a reflection of her life away from the game.
For as long as she represented Canada and became a household name for aspiring female hockey players, Cassie also served as a proud ambassador of the Ronald McDonald Children’s Charity. Her role within the children’s charity allowed her to combine her passion for hockey and humour with her love of giving.
“I wanted to get involved with the Ronald McDonald House here so I volunteered. The board asked me to sit on the board and come up with ideas on how to raise money,” said Campbell. “I came up with the idea of having a street hockey tournament mixed in with a carnival theme which was sort of the two best events I ever did as a kid; play street hockey and go to the Exhibition or to a carnival,” she explained.
What started out as a $35,000 fundraising event, it has now raised over $2 million for the Ronald McDonald House in what is now a nine-year signature event. Operating solely out of Calgary, there are hopes of taking it nationwide, eventually introducing it south of the border where the hope of further awareness lies.
Campbell’s ties with Ronald McDonald Children’s Charity dates back to the loss of a family member.
“My cousin Matthew passed away when I was going for my 1st Olympics in 1998. He had Cerebral Palsy and before he passed away, him and his father had started a school for severely intellectually and physically challenged kids,” said Campbell. “These are kids who really can’t do much on their own and McDonald’s put a Snoozle Room in this school, which is sort of a stimulation room,” she continued.
“They never asked for any fan fair, they never did a press release or anything like that they just gave the money and so I have always been involved in the school which is called Applewood Acres. I always vowed that I would give back and thank them in some fashion. I became apart of the McDonald’s team in 1997 as an athlete and that’s how I got introduced to the children’s charities, but through my cousins school I wanted to do more for them.”
As the face of women’s hockey, Cassie Campbell is also active within the fundamental preservation of the game and creating a clear understanding of what makes hockey a unique life tool. Since 1999, Cassie, alongside Bobby Orr and Mike Bossy, have hosted Chevrolet’s Safe and Fun Hockey Program.
“It was an idea Bobby Orr brought to Chevrolet and with myself, Mike Bossy and a few other people coming on board, the program has just gotten better and better. I can’t think of another program like that where I’ve been involved for such a long time. We travel across the country and we speak to parents and kids about what hockey should be about which is a safe, fun environment and we speak to the kids about respect, responsibility and things you learn though the games of hockey,” explained the 2007 Canada Sports Hall of Fame Inductee.
“It’s kind of our response to some of the negative stories that you hear about hockey. For the most part parents are good hockey parents but we do have a few issues that we have to clean up in our game and this is our message to help do that.” she said.
Cassie Campbell played 157 career games with team Canada, recording 100 points and led Canada to victory on 129 occasions. Sx, he was a part of 21 medal wins with two Olympic golds and six World Championships. She retired from playing in 2006 but has not yet retired from the game as she continues to make an impact at all levels. In 2006, Cassie Campbell became the first woman to do colour commentating on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and continues to work as an analyst covering both the NHL and women’s hockey. She continues to be a role model and positive influence on all young fans and aspiring hockey players, preserving the integrity of the game while supporting player’s safety.
To learn more about a Ronald McDonald Charity House in your area, visit http://www.rmhccanada.com/
For more information on Cassie Campbell, visit http://www.cassie77.com/webpage/1002369/1000608