Northeast Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider surprised over 200 participants of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation during its Skills and Skating Festival, a celebration culminating the first year of the program, on Wednesday at the Polonia Bank Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia.
Snider observed participants of the program he established, as they demonstrated their abilities to skate, pass and shoot. Participants would have never been afforded the opportunity to play hockey
without Snider's dedicated support.
"These kids, when you see how happy they are, how excited they are and how appreciative they are, it just gives me a tremendous feeling," said Snider. "The fact is that this is our very first year, and it's going to get bigger and better. I'm very excited."
Flyers center Keith Primeau, Ambassador of Hockey Bob "The Hound" Kelly and Phantoms left wing Riley Cote were also on hand to greet participants, take photos and answer questions.
"It's as rewarding for me to see kids who wouldn't normally be afforded the opportunity to put on a set of equipment and come out and skate, and play organized scrimmages," said Primeau. "Today, my curiosity got the best of me because I was at the introduction of the program. I wanted to see how the kids progressed, and it looks like they've done well and they are having fun."
In addition to providing opportunities for these and 250 other underserved students to learn to play hockey as part of school curriculum, Snider provides educational opportunities and valuable life lessons.
"It's a thrill for me to see the success that we've had in the very first year of this program," he said.