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Evelyn Pyzanowski Of Downingtown, PA Wins First Mother's Day Contest

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

In recognition of Mother's Day on Sunday, May 14, the Philadelphia Flyers asked sons and daughters from the Greater Philadelphia Region to share why their mother is the biggest Flyers fan in a 300-word or less essay. Jim Thompson of Phoenixville, PA submitted a letter to the team about his mother, 80-year old Evelyn Stanley Pyzanowski of Downingtown, PA, and her love and commitment to the Flyers over the past 40 years.

"Entering this contest was a great opportunity to do something special to recognize my mom," said Thompson. "She will be absolutely thrilled to know she won!"

In addition to winning the title of "My Mom is the Biggest Flyers Fan," Pyzanowski also won a one-of-a-kind pink and white Flyers jersey autographed by Peter Forsberg.

"I am completely surprised Jim thought to enter me into this contest," said Pyzanowski. "My son and I have shared so many Flyers memories together over the years. Winning this is another one to add to the list."

Thompson's winning essay is below:

Evelyn Stanley Pyzanowski will be 80 years old this month.

From the beginning, both mine in 1962 and the Flyers in 1967, she has been the most loyal, emphatic supporter any person or team could ever want. Visit her apartment, and you are likely to see piles of "The Hockey News" surrounding her armchair. Should the Flyers be on a west coast road trip, I can't go to bed before midnight: mom will certainly call, excitedly recounting the game's highlights.

Long ago, during a time in which tickets were impossible to find at any price, she brought me to see that surreal Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semi finals against the NY Islanders on May 13, 1975. Up against Kate Smith's electrifying rendition of "God Bless America," did the Isles ever have a chance? But as time wore on, what became more important than the game itself was the fact that my Mom, a single parent, was responsible for enabling me to participate in one of the most thrilling events in local history.

More recently, although now wheelchair-bound and oxygen dependent, she gamely accompanied me to her first ever visit to the Wachovia Center on April 11, 2006. She thoroughly enjoyed a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to watch one of her all-time favorite players, Flyers alumni John LeClair.

I suppose what it comes down to is this: relationships. Our mutual love of Flyers hockey has been a constant bond between us, as well as an anchor to the greater Philadelphia community. Wins and losses aside, nothing speaks better for a professional sports franchise than helping to build successful relationships at the family, community, and team level. I'm proud of My Mom, and the Flyers should be too.

Rachael Ruppert from Cinnaminson, NJ came in second place while Abigail Callahan from Philadelphia, PA came in third.
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