ECHL Community Recap

ECHL teams are always giving back to their local communities. Here’s a look at some recent events from select teams.


Evansville – On Feb. 4, the IceMen players vistied a local store called the Inflatable Fun Factory where they each made a stuffed animal. The event was open to the public as well so the players were helping fans make their own stuffed animals too! At the Feb. 28 IceMen game, there was a Grab Bag on these stuffed animals. This year was the third year the IceMen took part in this promotion, and $1,000 was raised to benefit the Dream Center. The mission of the Dream Center is to assist at-risk youth and their families in becoming responsible and self-sufficient members of the community. On March 3, IceMen players and coaches went to North Elementary school to spend some time with their special needs class. After spending 45 minutes in the classroom, the players and coaches participated in a school wide assembly on the importance of not using the “R” word. They followed that up with a game of floor hockey…IceMen players and special needs students vs the school’s teachers. 



Kalamazoo – On Feb. 18, the K-Wings invited three incredible foster youth to become team members for a day. Micah, 16, Aaron, 17 and Keayr, 17, are all currently searching for loving parents. The K-Wings gave the teens game-worn jerseys, officially making them members of the team, along with a tour of the locker room where they met the players who signed their new jerseys. They were also given game pucks and a spot to sit right on the bench to watch the K-Wings warm up. The K-Wings players and staffed were thrilled at the opportunity to give these boys an experience of a lifetime. On Feb. 17, Slappy, Isaac Macleod and Curtis Valk headed to Constantine to congratulate the students of Eastside Elementary School on completing Slappy’s Reading Program, while delivering their free tickets. Slappy and the players talked about the importance of getting an education and how reading is important to keep your mind sharp and to evolve your imagination. The visit also happened to fall around the time the school finished their coin drive fundraiser for Relay for Life. The top 3 fundraising classes would get the chance to have a K-Wings player or Slappy pie their teacher in the face. The school raised over $1,000 in coins total.



South Carolina – On Feb. 5, Stingrays players Scott Ford, Jeff Jakaitis, Drew Mackenzie, Patrick Gaul and Andrew Ammon visited Pattison’s Academy, a school for mentally and physically disabled children. The players played relay races and floor hockey with all of the students and invited them to the Feb. 8 Stingrays game. At the game, the students rode on the Fan-Zam and took part in the post-game skate with the Rays. The Stingrays held their ninth annual Pink in the Rink game on Feb. 21. This year, the team partnered with Share our Suzy, a local non-profit in the area that helps individuals with breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket for the night was donated to Share our Suzy; the Rays had a crowd of 7,835 for the game.



Stockton – On Feb. 15, the Thunder held Firefighter Appreciation Night to benefit the Firefighters’ Burn Institute. Pregame events included a fire truck & race car auto show. The puck was dropped by 9 year old burn survivor Skylah, an attendee of the FFBI kids camp. There was a special in game shoutout/thank you by former Thunder player/current firefighter Cam Brodie. After the game, Oakland Fire faced off vs Sacramento Fire. The Thunder were able to raise approximately $5,000 for FFBI as a result of this event.   NASA Research Center, Applied Aerospace, World of Wonders Museum and a Russian Mig from the Patriot Jet Foundation were just a few of the attractions at the Stockton Thunder Space Night. Jose Hernandez, a Stockton native and NASA astronaut, kicked off the night with a motivational speech and presentation about how he became an astronaut. Partial ticket proceeds benefited hisReaching for the Stars Foundation.



Toledo – On Feb. 25, A.J. Jenks and Kyle Bonis laced up their skates to join more than twenty athletes with Lucas County Special Olympics at the Ottawa Park Ice Rink for their final Activities Night of the season. This was a pilot program aimed at getting more athletes involved in winter sports and recreational opportunities. Athletes also took part in ice skating and broomball along with ice hockey. On Feb. 28 and March 1, the Walleye hosted their annual “Pink in the Rink,” with players wearing pink-themed jerseys. A live jersey auction was held on Feb 28, along with ‘Chuck a Puck’ tosses on both nights, as well as a raffle for a team-signed pink stick. In total, $18,000 was raised to benefit Susan G. Komen of NW Ohio and the Walleye Wishing Well.