Windsor, ON: -  Like double-double coffees, toques, the maple leaf and old fashion politeness, hockey is a part of Canada’s national fabric. Yet equipping even the youngest players for "our" game can be a financial struggle for many families who are facing the hockey registration season right now.

That’s where Dodge Caravan Kids comes in. Now entering its eighth season, this uniquely Canadian initiative is a joint effort between participating amateur hockey organizations nationwide, Chrysler Canada and its local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep® and Ram retailers.

Eligible teams who sign up at, receive sponsorship funding to offset equipment, jersey, tournament and other costs of playing novice-level community hockey.

“Since 2006, Chrysler Canada has donated over $4 million through Dodge Caravan Kids to make hockey more affordable for Canadian families,” said Reid Bigland, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Canada Inc. “Look at the sheer number of our iconic minivans in any arena parking lot nationwide and you’ll understand why: It’s one small way we can give back to customers who have made our products ‘support players’ in their family’s pursuit of Canada’s favourite sport.”

To date, over 8,000 teams from across Canada have participated in Dodge Caravan Kids, representing more than 120,000 players or over 30,000 families. Put each of those families in a Dodge Grand Caravan and line them up, bumper-to-bumper and the distance covered would stretch from Montreal to Mont Tremblant, halfway to Edmonton from Calgary or further than the drive from Vancouver to Whistler.

The teams also have an opportunity to enter the Dodge Caravan Kids Team Photo Contest where they’re encouraged to a take a fun photo incorporating a Dodge Grand Caravan, their local Dodge dealership or a fun way to say thank you to Dodge. Five winners receive additional funding from Dodge Caravan Kids.

“The support from Dodge Caravan Kids helps give our young players –and perhaps a future all-star – the chance they need to play the game they love,” said Richard Ropchan, Executive Director with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association [OMHA] which piloted the Caravan Kids program with Chrysler’s Eastern Business Centre in 2006. “We’re honoured to work with Chrysler Canada and 16 minor hockey associations across the country in supporting an initiative that gets more kids on the ice and having fun.”

All Canadian families can also participate in the Dodge Caravan Kids “Score and Win” contest, by signing up through One lucky entrant will win a 2014 Dodge Caravan and $5,000 for their local hockey association.

Introduced last season, the Dodge Family All Stars program also returns for 2013/2014. This grassroots initiative in partnership with the CHL, celebrates billet families across the country who welcome young hockey players into their homes. Billet families who submit their stories have a chance to win one of three trips to the 2014 Memorial Cup, be recognized at the CHL Awards and go on-ice during a CHL game to see if they’ve won a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan.