“Give The Game” With Restore Hockey and the New England Pond Hockey Classic

In the world of hockey, what does $150 buy you? Half of one skate? A composite stick? Two weeks on a travel team?

What if I told you that $150 could open the door to a lifetime of activity, camaraderie, adventure, teamwork, responsibility, and achievement? Sure beats one skate, right? Because of the partnership between Restore Hockey and the New England Pond Hockey Classic, that’s exactly what $150 is going to provide. Starting this week, the two entities have partnered up on the “Give The Game” campaign, which aims to bring hockey to those who otherwise might not have access to it.

“Give The Game” actually has two parts: one for teams currently signed up for the NEPHC, and one for teams on the outside looking in.

For teams currently signed up, the NEPHC has created a donation page for each team and has asked teams to collect money from now until January 15, 2012. The teams who raise money will be eligible for any number of prizes, which will be announced throughout the donation period. The team that collects the most money by January 15th will receive free entry into the 2012 tournament. Essentially, they’ll get a nice check for $600 back from the NEPHC in addition to a handful of prizes.

In addition to the registered teams, the NEPHC has offered a unique ‘second chance’ opportunity for those teams currently waitlisted for the tournament. The NEPHC has reserved two spots for the 2012 event that will go to the two teams who raise the most money for this initiative. To start, click this link and select “Become a fundraiser!” on the left hand side. Once you’ve registered and added your team to the list, start soliciting donations! In order to get your team in as part of this contest, you’ll need to raise at least $600 before January 15, 2012. The two teams who raise at least $600 and are the two top fundraisers will get FREE entry into the sold-out tournament.

As great as it is to earn prizes and free entry into one of North America’s premiere outdoor hockey events, I haven’t even told you the best part. Every $150 raised through this initiative — and every single DIME goes to the cause — will purchase a complete hockey equipment kit from CCM. We’re talking helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants, shin guards, skates, a stick…EVERYTHING a kid would need to get started. Restore Hockey will purchase the kits using money raised as part of this campaign and dole it out to a kid who needs it in the hopes of easing some of the high startup costs associated with youth hockey.

Want proof that Restore Hockey is making magic? If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll know how fond I am of the Jenkins family, whose son Nick is wheelchair-bound due to spina bifida. Wanting to build up their fledgling sled hockey organization in an effort to bring a cold-weather sport to their warm-weather community, the Jenkins put out a call for help, desperately in need of equipment to keep their members safe on the ice. Mike and the Restore Gang responded right away, sending two full hockey bags full of gear to Nick and his parents. These pictures (OneTwo) show the gratitude and excitement Nick felt, and how Restore is opening doors to the hockey community by routing gear to the people who need it.

So how can you help? If you’re already registered, make sure others know to donate to your team page. If you want to put a team in to the SOLD OUT 2012 New England Pond Hockey Classic, then sign up your team and start collecting! And if you just want to help bring the game to kids who need help getting on the ice, consider either donating to a team (like this one) or making a donation directly to Restore Hockey. Because Restore is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax deductible.

$150 might not get you very far ordinarily, but thanks to Restore Hockey and the New England Pond Hockey Classic, it might mean the difference between sitting on the bench and getting in the game – both for your pond hockey team and for children around the country.

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