ST. LOUIS – With construction completed, the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund Rink of Dreams was officially unveiled on Wednesday afternoon at Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by Blues Chairman Tom Stillman, President of Business Operations Bruce Affleck, Vice President Brett Hull, defenseman Barret Jackman and former Blues Kelly Chase and Bob Plager. Afterwards, the rink’s inaugural scrimmage took place and a street hockey program will begin this summer at Mathews-Dickey.
“When you have the Blues come to north St. Louis with the President and all the people putting up a rink for the kids here, it makes me feel good,” said Martin Mathews, co-founder of Mathews-Dickey. “This is a dream come true. This is what the Blues have done here. They’ve given you the opportunity. If you want to be a hockey player, if you want to be a Brett Hull, you can be one.
“We’re not singing the blues. We’re going to dance to the blues today.”
The rink, which was donated by the Blues 14 Fund and Clayco, was completed on May 30 by volunteers from the Blues’ front office staff.
“Partnering with Mathews-Dickey is something that I’ve had on an internal list for a long time,” said Stillman, who helped with the construction last week. “I want to be involved with Mathews-Dickey. It kind of sets a standard here in St. Louis.
"Mr. Mathews is spoken about in reverent tones in this community and for good reason. And Clayco has been a great partner in (Blues) 14 Fund activities as well as other things that we do and they’re a great community citizen. They just jumped in on this.”
The street hockey rink, which is permanent, will serve as a place for the children of Mathews-Dickey to learn and enjoy the game of hockey.
"It's such a great organization, it does so much great work for the children of St. Louis that I can't believe it hasn't happened earlier than this," Hull said. "But it's here, it's beautiful, the kids are going to love it. It's a great day for hockey and for Matthews-Dickey."
"This is great. Mathews-Dickey already has a commitment to the community and gives these kids an opportunity to succeed in whatever their dreams are," Jackman said. "For the Blues to partner up with them and give back to the community, it's big for Tom Stillman and the 14 Fund and everybody that has ever been a part of the Blues organization."
Mathews-Dickey is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1960 by Mathews and the late Hubert “Dickey” Ballentine. The club serves more than 40,000 young men and women between the ages of 5-18, teaching them the importance of leading productive lives and becoming leaders in the community. The club also serves as a community outreach center for troubled youth.
The Blues 14 Fund is the charitable trust of the St. Louis Blues and was established in 1998 to honor former Blues player Doug Wickenheiser, who passed away after a battle with cancer in 1999. The Blues 14 Fund has contributed more than $3 million to the St. Louis community to positively impact programs and services that help improve the health and wellness of youth in the St. Louis area.