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Group plays for food

SFU students and staff play hockey to raise food bank donations

Imagine having a chance to go across the country and play ball hockey along the way.

And imagine being able to do it for a good cause, namely the collection of 20,000 pounds of food for local food banks.

That's what Five Hole for Food principals Richard Loat, Victor Lo and Jonathan Buyco have been doing since June 23.

Loat, well-known in SFU circles for his Vancouver Canucks Twitter commentaries @mozy19, started the drive last year and collected 6,000 pounds of food in nine cities.

Lo, who currently teaches at West Vancouver Secondary, taught Loat and got involved, while Buyco got swayed by his friend's entreaties.

This year's goal was to collect 20,000 pounds of food and the group passed its mark on July 4 during their stop in Regina.

The tour, which began on June 23 in St. Johns, N.L., has also included stops in Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria. The final event is on Saturday, July 9 in downtown Vancouver.

Dixon Tam, who works in the public affairs department at Simon Fraser University, has been doing media relations for the group and was able to join them for the Atlantic Canada portion of the trip.

"We've had great turnouts at our events," said Tam. "People are coming out with food and playing hockey and it's been a lot of fun."

Making the cause easier this year is the generous support of sponsors such as GM Canada, which donated a Chevy Equinox for the crew to travel in. And WestJet donated airfare for the crew - Tam included - to fly out to Atlantic Canada to begin the journey.

"Food bank inventories are typically lower in the summer, so we're using hockey to bring Canadians together to help others. It's a recipe for success that will assist us in feeding many hungry families," said Loat.

"We will be posting photos and video daily on our website," said Loat. "We encourage everyone to live vicariously through us on this epic road trip."

The Vancouver event goes from noon to 6 p.m. on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.

There will be a celebrity media game at 1 p.m.

To keep an eye on the games, people can follow the official Twitter account @fiveholeforfood. For more information, please visit