It came as no surprise when Travis Hamonic won the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2017 at just 27 years old. Then, this past September after his first season with the Calgary Flames, the team honored him with the Ralph T. Scurfield Award, given annually to a Flames player who epitomizes dedication to community service.
Ever humble both on the ice and off, it’s clear Hamonic doesn’t give back for the awards or the praise. After facing grief and adversity early in his life, he is passionate about using his platform to give back to children and families, always striving to somehow do more year after year.
Hamonic was just 10 years old when he lost his father to a heart attack. Knowing how hard it is to lose a parent, especially at a young age, Hamonic is driven by his urge to help kids who find themselves in similar situations. His familiarity with such loss, coupled with his passion for helping others, led him to create D-Partner Program, a foundation he established when he played for the New York Islanders.
Through the D-Partner Program, Hamonic has served over 200 youth, first with the Islanders and now with the Flames, hosting kids and their chosen guests at home games. Spending time with the kids after games is always meaningful for Hamonic. “For the children who I get to meet, that they are so forthcoming and trust me to share their stories, it’s very special for me,” he said.
After his trade to the Flames following the 2017 season, Hamonic was ready to continue the D-Partner Program in his new home city — and to launch another one. Soon after arriving in Calgary, Hamonic announced his second charitable initiative, The Northern Project, which funds trips to Calgary for Indigenous children and families from the Canadian Territories, hosting them at a Flames game where they get to meet the team and experience a professional sporting event thousands of miles from their homes that would otherwise be inaccessible.
“My heritage is something that I hold really close to me. Being Metis myself, you want to be able to help,” Hamonic said. “My wife Steph and I decided that was something really important to us, to try to help and give back.”
At 28, Travis Hamonic has now established not his first, nor his second, but his third philanthropic foundation. This past November, Hamonic and his wife, Stephanie, announced their newest initiative, Charlie’s Children. Named after their 8-month-old daughter, the mission of Charlie’s Children is to provide support for low-income and single-parent families expecting newborns.
The foundation will strive to ease the transition for families who are preparing to welcome newborns into the world by providing necessities like car seats, cribs, strollers and other essential resources.
"We've created Charlie's Children in hopes of being able to reach numerous families in need." said Travis and Stephanie Hamonic. "After the birth of our daughter Charlie, we felt the urge to dive back into the community and give back as best as we can."
While the Hamonic’s are funding the initiative in full, it helps to have a strong support system behind the mission too. The Calgary Flames Foundation has pledged to match 100% of funding, with donations directed to the Women in Need Society, which will purchase items at cost for eligible families from West Coast Kids.
Hamonic is an exemplary professional, passionate about using his real-life experiences as inspiration to help others. He continues to use his platform in sports to be so much more than a professional athlete in every community he has been a part of. With three exceptionally successful charities already, it’s clear he will leave a lasting impression on the NHL, the cities he has played for and the entire sports community.