Since I started my full time job in September 2008, I’ve yet to experience a summer here at the RBC Center. It’s actually a great time of year around our department because it allows us to step back and gather a fresh perspective on all that occurred during the season and all that is just around the corner.
The Susan G. Komen Race was held this past Saturday at Meredith College. Team ‘Canes for A Cure was there, taking on breast cancer one step at a time. Although the race has ended, please know that our team is still accepting general donations or specific individual donations through June 30. If you’d like to support ‘Canes for a Cure, click here
Switching gears… Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to accompany Carolina Hurricanes TV Color Analyst, Tripp Tracy, to Cedar Creek Middle School in Youngsville, NC. Tripp was the keynote speaker at the 8th grade graduation. He gave a great charge to the 8th graders, labeling them the greatest generation with the most opportunity ahead. I even felt motivated after Tripp’s speech – urging the kids and their families to dream big, never give up, and to leave a legacy that withstands the sands of time (literally, his analogy was footprints in the sand and how they are washed away with the next tide). Rather, Tripp suggested making a permanent impact. Being there definitely was a flashback to 8th grade, which I’m not sure I enjoy thinking about those awkward years. Nonetheless, it was an extremely rewarding experience, and I know that Tripp’s words of wisdom for the 8th graders meant so much to them, their families, and school administrators and teachers.
That same day, the Capital City Crew met at the Boys and Girls Club Teen Center to get fitted for their hockey equipment. For those of you unaware, the Capital City Crew is the NHL Diversity team that is currently a partnership between the Raleigh Youth Hockey Association, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Carolina Hurricanes. We are the first NHL Diversity team in the South, and we are gearing up to fully launch the program in the fall. The Capital City Crew allows children the opportunity to play ice hockey at no cost to the participant. With that said, we’ve applied for grants from other sources (e.g., NHLPA) to help fund this non-profit endeavor. Additionally, Eric Staal single-handedly provided 20 sets of sticks, gloves, and helmets to the program. In addition to the NHLPA grant assistance, the Capital City Crew will be able to outfit all 40 participating kids in the program.
During the fitting, the kids took shifts between equipment fitting and then skills/game sessions. This was only the second time we’ve actually gotten the group together for a skills session, and I can definitely spot some raw talent and improvement. I was not dressed appropriately to play hockey that afternoon (dress shoes and a skirt don’t make me that fast or agile). However, I was able to capture quite a few pictures and really study the participants while they played and learned the game of hockey. It truly is a privilege to be part of these children’s lives, and I cannot wait to see the impact this program has on the participating children.