Hockey stars give back to community

Justin Falk and Eric Fehr were happy with their first Hockey Champions Charity Golf Tournament. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

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The 2019 Hockey Champions Charity Golf Tournament was the first event hosted by the newly minted Falk Fehr Foundation, and the two professional hockey players behind it say they were humbled and amazed by the support.
Eric Fehr and Justin Falk started the foundation earlier this year as a way to support local charities and areas in the community.
For the last nine years they have hosted the Winkler Pro Am Golf tournament, but this year changed things up with the first Hockey Champions Charity Golf Tournament.
Eric Fehr, a Minnesota Wild player last season but an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, said the foundation was the result of some contemplation.
“Justin and myself had been talking about trying to make a bigger impact in our community for a few years and weren’t exactly sure which route we wanted to go,” he said.
The foundation was chosen as a great way to give back. “We wanted to do a number of events in the city, one of them being the golf tournament,” Fehr said.
The charities chosen were Central Station and the Winkler Food Cupboard who will split the estimated $50,000 raised at the tournament.
“I think the day was an incredible success,” Fehr said. “We were overwhelmed with the support we got from the city and it was an awesome day.”
Fehr said as they considered which charity to support Central Station kept coming, as did the Winkler Food Cupboard. And the goals of both organizations hit home.
“We feel that in a city as close as Winkler is, we don’t think anybody should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” he said.
Giving back is important to Fehr who said he has experienced tremendous support himself.
“We love the city,” he said. “(We love) how supportive the city is when we switch teams, move to different teams, if our team is winning or losing, it doesn’t matter. The city always supports us and we can feel their encouragement throughout the years.”
“We definitely want to give back to the city that’s given us so much,” he said.
Justin Falk, also currently a free agent, played for the Ottawa Senators AHL affiliate, the Belleville Senators, last season.
He was also excited about the success of the tournament.
“It exceeded our own expectations,” he said. “It was incredibly humbling, the turnout and the support for us.”
Falk said they were happy to support two causes that help cover such a wide range of services to make as big an impact on families as possible.
“I think we just both realize how fortunate and blessed we are to be in the situations we’ve been,” he said.
Falk said during the season they have the opportunity to give back in the city they play in, both in charities and with local minor hockey.
This gives them a chance to support Winkler.
“We’ve had the urge to start this up, to try to use the platform that we’ve been given, to make the greatest impact on our community,” he said.