In September, at the beginning of the hockey season, the U19 AAA Girls Ohio Blue Jackets wrote down their goals for the 2015-16 season.
Among the expected goals were things like having a winning season, earning strong +/- results, improving strength training, team building and more.
But the No. 1 item on their list included participating in a volunteer activity that would allow them to represent their hockey team and program.
The first step of their goal was achieved during a December weekend tournament in University Park, Pa., when the girls held their holiday party. In addition to exchanging gifts and eating holiday goodies, the girls spent time hand-making blankets.
And on Jan. 9, between practices, the girls' top goal finally came to fruition: the players and coaches delivered 18 hand-made blankets to the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio to help families stay warm during the winter.
The team toured the facility, which supports families of hospitalized children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Both the players and coaches were thrilled to see the amount of support from the Columbus community and sports teams. In particular, they were excited to see the All-Star Legacy Treehouse and activity space supported by their favorite hockey team: the Columbus Blue Jackets.
In addition to the aforementioned achievements, a member of the team, Isabel Heminger, recently became the first-ever girl from the AAA Blue Jackets program to accept an offer to play hockey at the Division I level. She will be attending Penn State University.
Now the girls’ team, which is coached by former Ohio State men's hockey coach John Markell, is raising funds so they will be able to take a bus to a tournament in Madison, Wisc. in February.
The girls have limited funds, so they are using every resource to raise money. For more information on the girls’ fundraising efforts for their upcoming trip or to donate, please contact Pam Heminger (614-946-5742).