Hungry Hungry Hippos take a bite out of ‘The Beast’

December 6, 2016
Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor
ATA Local No. 48 members take a break from sorting hundreds of board games donated by Hasbro. Pictured are (L-R) Kelly Webber, Nancy Ball, Joanne Johnson, Kristy MacNeil and Lana Pelletier.

Donation of more than 1,000 board games helps restock Fort McMurray classrooms

Learning and building resiliency through play is getting a bit easier for teachers and students in Fort McMurray thanks to a donation of more than 1,000 board games by Hasbro.

After four pallets containing 1,050 board games arrived in late November, executives from Fort McMurray Local No. 48 spent hours sorting the games and are now focused on completing the task of delivering them to local schools. There are enough games to provide two to each K–9 classroom and 40 to each high school.

“It’s wonderful, especially at Christmas,” said local president Nancy Ball, who has been delivering many of the games herself. “It’s almost like playing Santa’s helper.”

Ball expects that delivery will be completed by about Dec. 7.

The donation came about due to a recent visit to Fort McMurray by Dr. Michael Rich. The Harvard professor spoke at the local’s annual professional development day, delivering a message of the importance of building resiliency through play. Through his research affiliation with Hasbro, Rich connected Ball with the company’s community support grant program.


Hasbro donated four pallets loaded with 1,050 board games to the Fort McMurray Local No. 48. The games have been distributed to every school in the city.

“It’s another example of the support that we’re getting for our schools, and we appreciate it,” Ball said.

Ball felt that distributing board games to classrooms would help alleviate the loss of resources that occurred when the wildfire (which locals dubbed “the beast”) devastated the Fort McMurray area last May.