Laura Lamarche Keeps Giving Back

Mar 13, 2023 | News

“I love working with young minds, they are energetic and eager to learn,” said Laura Lamarche, a volunteer for the HEROS Toronto Jane-Finch chapter. Even after more than 10 years of volunteering with the HEROS program, this still holds true for Laura.

Laura recently gave a generous contribution to the Toronto Jane-Finch HEROS program. This donation will help provide scholarships to HEROS graduates from the Jane-Finch community, ensuring they have all the support they need as they enter post-secondary education.

“I have been blessed with a career and livelihood that allows me to donate my time and sometimes financial means, but donating my time is most important to me,” said Laura. “I know by getting involved I can make more of a meaningful contribution.”

The act of giving back to the community comes naturally and genuinely to Laura, the same way that smiles and sounds of laughter appear from the HEROS players she interacts with. Giving back and investing in communities is one of the core foundations HEROS is built on and allows HEROS programs to reach communities from coast to coast to coast.

“HEROS is so much more than hockey, it is a way to help kids with life skills and mentoring so they have more tools to make better choices in life,” said Laura. “Not only do we skate together, but I hear about stories from school and some of the achievements the players have made. They have the confidence to share their dreams and aspirations all while struggling to put on shin guards and shoulder pads.”

Laura learned to figure skate throughout her childhood, acquiring badges as part of the CFSA CanSkate program. She later learned about HEROS through founder Norm Flynn’s sister-in-law, Christine. After previously teaching computer lunch and learns, she was intrigued by the exciting and active opportunity, which soon became her way of keeping her ‘skating legs.’

“The first practice was like a party,” said Laura. “Everyone was keen and eager to get on the ice, so lots of energy in the change rooms. Getting all the protective gear on was half the fun. But learning to fall and get up was the first lesson. Once everyone knew that falling didn’t hurt, and that it was part of the game, we had such great fun skating and doing our ‘superman’ dives.”

Today, during her time with HEROS Laura witnesses many firsts from the players and sees the impact of her work and dedication in real-time on the many faces (new and old) in the Toronto Jane-Finch HEROS chapter.

“From the time I watched my first students cross the ice on their own to the time when I see graduates of the program returning to help out or visit the new students with words of encouragement, they are all memorable moments to me,” said Laura. “It’s also watching other volunteers achieve the satisfaction I have of helping young minds navigate a new challenge and succeed.”

We at HEROS are thankful to have such wonderful and caring volunteers like Laura who consistently model HEROS values and behaviours in their daily lives, make an effort to help others and who also inspire our HEROS players to dream big and to know that anything is within reach.

To learn more how you can make a lasting impact on the lives of HEROS players in your community, click here.