Members of the U.S. Congress and congressional staff will face off against registered lobbyists at 5:30 p.m. on March 10, 2011, at Verizon Center in the 2011 Congressional Hockey Challenge™ charity ice hockey game. Washington Capitals forward Mike Knuble
is scheduled to drop the ceremonial puck and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine, NHL alumnus Kevin Weekes and NHL pioneer Willie O’Ree are scheduled to attend.
There will be a suggested donation of $10 at the door on the day of the event. Proceeds will benefit both the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club and the Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Thanks to the generosity of many organizations and individuals, these games have raised more than $100,000 for the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Program, which was founded in 1978 by Neal Henderson. Further event details, rosters and information on supporting the charities can be found at www.CongressionalHockeyChallenge.com
As in years past, the roster for the Lawmakers squad includes Senators and Congressmen as well as staff from both the legislative and executive branches. The Lobbyist team will feature representatives from a diverse group of industries and interests. Lawmakers currently scheduled to return for the 2011 game include U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY), U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), veteran centerman and U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL). Making their debut this year are two freshman congressmen: U.S. Congressman Pat Meehan (R-PA) and U.S. Congressman Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN).
“I am delighted that hockey will see the continuation of this fierce rivalry between lawmakers and federal lobbyists and that the National Hockey League can join in to support the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “As evidenced by his having won the 2010 Bridgestone Mark Messier Youth Leadership Award, Neal Henderson has done remarkable work with the boys and girls who have been introduced to our game through the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club. We value our long association with Neal and his program.”
Founded in 1978 by Neal Henderson, The Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club is a developmental program that provides local and inner-city youth in Washington, D.C., the opportunity to participate in an organized ice hockey program. Participants have a wide range of experience in skating and game play, and ages range from eight to 17. The Club’s goal is to teach young people discipline, to establish self-esteem, a sense of purpose, and to offer an incentive to excel academically. The benefits of organized sports extend far beyond the rink: the girls and boys who join the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club learn life skills. As these children grow, they will become better citizens and will learn to give and anticipate respect.
Additionally, the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, the home rink of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, is facing a serious funding shortfall, putting a critically important community center at risk of closing. By attending the Congressional Hockey Challenge on March 10, you will also be supporting the rink itself. For additional information on saving the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, please contact Executive Director Julie Brunton at 202-584-5007