Elmira – On Dec. 13, Jackals’ players Kyle Rankin, Andy Iles, Ian Young and Davis Vandane took a trip to H.A. Hanlon Elementary in Odessa, N.Y. to talk to students about what it takes to become successful. Each player talked about their personal experiences, what goals they had as young students and what they had to sacrifice to get to where they are today as professional athletes. They talked about their diets as athletes and explained what they do outside of hockey to ensure that they are always in the best shape to compete every weekend.
Fort Wayne – Komets’ players coach Gary Graham had a blast on a shopping spree to find gifts for some well-deserving recipients. The players and Graham spent the morning of Dec. 22 visiting the Lutheran Children’s Hospital visiting patients and handing out presents. After the hospital, they went to Vincent’s Village, a shelter for homeless & underprivileged families. There, the players handed out the rest of the gifts and stayed to play video games & tea party with the kids at the Village.
Idaho – In the 19th Annual Teddy Bear Toss for Tots, the Steelheads and their fans broke donations records in toys collected and cash donations for the second consecutive year, with $4,411.25 and 5,844 toys brought in. The record set the previous year was 3,086 toys. The ceremonial puck-drop was also conducted by Vegas, a bomb-squad dog with the Boise Police Department.
Tulsa – The Tulsa Oilers participated in a series of events benefiting the Salvation Army and its partners early in the month of December. First, three players (Reid Halabi, Garrett Ladd and Brandon Martell) stopped by the Mabee Red Shield Boys and Girls Club in Tulsa to spend some time with the kids in the after school program, reading and playing dodgeball. The students showed off their reading skills, while teaching the players some of their favorite games to play. Then during the Oilers’ annual Teddy Bear Toss game, Salvation Army Captain Ken Chapman participated in the ceremonial puck drop, while volunteer bell ringers stood outside the gates, bagpipers played inside the concourse, and members of the organization helped collect donations supporting a great cause around the Holidays. At the end of the game, the Teddy Bears that were tossed on the ice were donated to the Salvation Army.