Hockey match shines light on military and veteran mental health

Last October, a hockey match hosted in Kingston brought the veteran community together. 

The match was between the Montreal Canadians Alumni team and the Our Nations Heroes: military, veterans, and first responders team, and the goal was to shine a light on mental health.

The game was a fundraiser for the Portraits of Honour Foundation, which was started by artist Dave Sopha and his daughter Terri Sopha.

As for who won the match, it depends on how you look at it as Kerri Tadeu, one of the hosts, summed it.

“The Military, Veterans and First Responders won the hearts and minds of the crowd, but the Habs scored the most goals,” she said.  

Tadeu, a registered psychiatric nurse, is one of the founders of the initiative SerViCe & SacriFice – Soldier, Veteran, Civilian honouring the Fallen.


Tadeu became involved when Dave Sopha, from the Portraits of Honour Foundation, asked if they could host an Our Nations Heroes Hockey Game in Kingston. “I agreed to host a hockey game if the game was rooted in mental health,” said Tadeu. 

The game was sponsored by Corporal (ret’d) Brittany Laramie and Master Corporal (retired) Arthur Laramie, who both served with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry and now run Iron King Gym in Kingston. The Iron King Gym specializes in mental health for military members and First Responders. 

The WJ Henderson Foundation stepped up to cover all pregame costs. 

At the game, there were many organizations that set up booths on the concourse and had people on hand to discuss how they help and support military members and first responders. The organizations included: Project Trauma Support, Kingston 4 Paws Service Dogs, Wounded Warriors Canada, Broadmind, Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as Iron King Gym and Black Rifle Coffee, which are both owned by Veterans.

Dave Sopha will be hosting another game in Cambridge, ON, on April 5th, 2019. This game will be between Our Nations Heroes and the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni.

For more information on this upcoming match visit their Facebook page.

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Deborah van der Linde

Deborah is a librarian who is passionate about books, storytelling, and writing. Thanks to her husband Adam’s military career, they have had the great fortune of living all across Canada. Deborah and Adam have two delightful children and a dog that thinks he’s one of the kids.

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Canadian Military Family Magazine