Mitch Marner Gives Back with Second Annual Charity Event in Vaughan

Giancarlo Aulino
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Mitch Marner put on an entertaining event for a great cause this past Friday, as he brought his second-annual Mitch Marner All-Star Invitational to The Sports Village in Vaughan, Ontario, with all proceeds going towards his charity: Marner Assist Fund. Although Marner is still in the headlines due to ongoing contract talks with the Toronto Maple Leafs, that didn’t stop him from putting together this event and making a difference in the lives of many children.


The Marner Assist fund is an excellent charity that provides resources for children and youth as well as providing support to children in terms of social care, health, and education. Along with sponsor Intact Insurance, the Mitch Marner All-Star Invitational was successful in raising money and generating interest in the skills compeittion and 4-on-4 game.


The event featured plenty of talented hockey players including: Olympians Erin Ambrose and Laura Stacey, and current NHL/AHL players Michael Dal Colle (New York Islanders), Christian Dvorak (Arizona Coyotes), Anthony Cirelli (Tampa Bay Lightning), Moran Frost (Philadelphia Flyers), Isaac Ratcliffe (Philadelphia Flyers), Rich Clune (Toronto Maple Leafs), Robert Thomas (St.Louis Blues), Josh Leivo (Vancouver Canucks), Jeremy Bracco (Toronto Maple Leafs), Nazem Kadri (Colorado Avalanche), and John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs).


I was fortunate to speak to Mitch Marner about his event as well as his charitable aspirations with the Marner Assist Fund:


“Probably started in London...London I did a lot of sick kids visits…and schools and stuff…realized that you could make a difference, so kind of before my last event…about a year before that, I kind of reached out to Natasha at It Factor and asked her if she could help me out with all this kind of stuff and she’s been great ever since and hopefully this goes for a long time forward.”




In my conversation with Marner, he expressed his desire to keep growing the charity each year and raise as much money as possible.


This was a unique concept in that there was a skills competition with some of the players before the actual 4-on-4 game took place. The skills competition gave fans an opportunity to see some of their favourite players put their skills on full display while also showcasing the challenges’ level of difficulty and the precision and speed needed to win.  


Following the skills competition, it was time for the 4-on-4 game between Marner’s team and Tavares’ team. The game was highly entertaining and provided fans who may’ve never been to a Maple Leafs game live, with the opportunity to see their favourite players up close to cap off a fun afternoon for a great cause. Marner put on a show with his incredible skillset; he was creating plays, deking around players, and did everything to entertain the fans.



It was fun seeing the chemistry on the ice between Mitch Marner and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Morgan Frost as they were linking up together on plays and provided some entertaining moments throughout the game.  


The 4-on-4 game was a farewell of sorts for Nazem Kadri, who along with Calle Rosen, was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on July 1st, for center Alex Kerfoot and defenseman Tyson Barrie. Kadri received a loud ovation from the fans in attendance and capped it off by scoring the overtime winner for his team.


Following the game, I had a chance to speak to Mitch’s father, Paul Marner, and get his thoughts on the event, what it's like for him as a parent to see his son's charitable initiatives, and what it's like for him to see his son play for the hometown team. 


Paul Marner mentioned how happy he is that Mitch plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs: 


“I grew up here as a Leaf fan back in Davie Keon…Ron Ellis…and those guys played. Mitch, you know grew up here as a Leaf fan being from Toronto, so it’s obviously great that you’re in your hometown city…for us, we get to see him a lot obviously which is great. As you said if he moves away, you don’t see him. And for Mitch, you know I think it’s great…he’s around his friends and his family, it’s great.”




The event as a whole was well-planned and entertaining and will only get bigger as each year goes by.



Highlights from the 2nd annual Mitch Marner All-Star Invitational: 








Photo Credit: Marner Assist Fund (@MarnerAssist)