AHU continues to win off the ice with community service
As another great hockey season comes to an end, the Arizona Hockey Union (AHU) has time to look back and reflect on all that their teams accomplished on the ice.
And it wasn’t just the players that tasted success, but the entire teams, including coaches, families, volunteers, fans and everyone else who supported AHU’s great teams. The sacrifices are not trivial and it would be easy to just focus on the effort put in on the ice, but the contributions run deeper as the AHU family also gives back in and around the local community.
Bantam Black Knights
For the Bantam Black Knights, this season has been about growth as a team as well as individual growth as young men and women. The team made it a priority to become stronger community members, as well as stronger teammates. Throughout their service and learning projects, players and families alike were reminded of the importance of giving back.
Most of the players found the two opportunities to help the Feed My Starving Children organization to be the most rewarding and the most fun. The team’s hockey family packed food for the less fortunate and in the process, learned that they were part of something much bigger than themselves. They felt an amazing sense of accomplishment knowing that the food that was packed was sent overseas to feed those in poverty-stricken areas.
The Bantam Black Knights also set up a food drive with United Food Bank. Amazingly, they collected 376 pounds of food with the help of AZ Ice Gilbert and the families of the team. They collected toys and clothing for the town of Gilbert’s toy and clothing drive and also teamed up with Gilbert’s Fire and Rescue team to help local families around the holidays.
If all of that wasn’t enough, they participated in the Gilbert Domestic Violence Walk to supported those affected by domestic violence. The Bantam Black Knights volunteered at one of the stations along the route and encouraged participants to reach the end. The players, parents and coaches who participated in this event walked away knowing that they had volunteered their time to a great cause.
They also volunteered a lot of time and helping hands at Lil’ Howlers introduction to hockey sessions.
To top it off, Bantam Black coach Chris Rees and his families have been recognized as the Spirit of Service team for the last three years since they continually participate in community betterment efforts. Many of the other AHU teams are starting to follow suit as well.
Pee Wee Black Knights
PeeWee Black also supported the Feed My Starving Children organization. After an early-morning Saturday game in December, the Pee Wee Black Knights rushed home, showered (thankfully!) and met up to pack meals for those less fortunate around the world. The team left the event feeling energized and happy that they had made a difference.
Squirt Purple Knights
The Squirt Purple Knights gathered bottles of water for a local firehouse. They worked with a local woman’s shelter, gathering household items and clothing for the residents. The Squirt Purple Knights also showed support for our troops and their families. They helped by putting together care packages that were sent around the world to those deployed and away from their loved ones.
The AHU players learn throughout the season that they must rely on their teammates to be successful and that when they work together, they are able to accomplish more than any of them could individually. As they participate in the community, this lesson is extended and they learn that when they work together and with others the contributions can be truly amazing.
The Arizona Hockey Union is grateful for its amazing hockey family and the support they offer to the community. The club is also thankful to the community of Phoenix for their support of the Knights’ passion for hockey.
Thank you all!
— Jason Prentice