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Promotions: Willow Springs Elementary Visit

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

Stormy loves visiting the youngest of Caniacs at school with games, prizes, and stories. And that is exactly what he did for the lucky students at Willow Springs Elementary School in Holly Springs.

Kaitlin Szulik

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Stormy, Ron the Ref  and the Hurricanes Promotions Team went to see the students at Willow Springs on October 2, 16, and 30 at an assembly for grades K-5. The students cheered and chanted Stormy’s name as Ron the Ref got everyone energized for his grand entrance. The moment Stormy stepped onto the stage, the gymnasium erupted into screams from what could only be the happiest of children.

Ron the Ref read “Stormy’s Story,” which told about Stormy’s parents, Paw Hog and Boss Hog, and how Stormy came to be the Hurricanes’ mascot. All the while Stormy acted out each line, much to the amusement of the laughing and giggling children in the audience. When Stormy began to do the dance move, the “worm,” on stage as Ron the Ref told of Stormy’s silly dance moves, I thought the kids were going to lose it all together!

Ron the Ref and Stormy wanted to teach the students to follow their dreams, like Stormy did, and to never give up. They too could do anything they set their young minds to. Stormy showed the children how he was once a little hog who loved to dance and do crazy stunts, but one day discovered his talents could make him into the Hurricanes’ mascot!

After sharing the story, three lucky students were called up onto the stage to take part in the “hockey equipment race,” where each student had to run to a piece of hockey equipment, put it on, run to the next piece, put that on and keep going until they reached the end. They had to put on hockey pants, a jersey, gloves and a helmet, and somehow keep it on their small bodies as they ran from one spot to the next!

The next part of the assembly was a game show hosted by Ron the Ref, where students would compete against Stormy in contests ranging from spelling hockey words, to defining the words stick, puck and teamwork, to facts about the Hurricanes. When Stormy would get an answer wrong or write his jersey number “97” instead of the correct answer on his whiteboard, the students only continued to laugh, but cheered him on until he got it right. The students worked together to help their friends on stage, shouting helpful hints from the audience and clapping loudly when they got the correct answer.

Willow Springs Elementary School’s character trait of the month was respect, so the final portion of their assembly was a two-way discussion between Ron the Ref and the students about what respect was and what it meant to them. Students raised their hands with their own definitions of respect and how they showed respect to one another. It was important for Stormy and Ron the Ref to teach respect and how to be kind to one another, even off the hockey rink.

Stormy, Ron the Ref and the Promotions Team certainly did not want to leave such a great group of enthusiastic students, but when it was time to say goodbye, everybody clapped for their favorite Ice Hog and Ref and hoped they would be back soon.                                                   

Would you like the Carolina Hurricanes to come to your school? Stormy, Ron the Ref and the Hurricanes Promotions Team would love to visit! We hold an assembly program for students lasting forty-five minutes long, on average, but can be adjusted based on your class’ needs. Features of our exciting program include an introductory video about the team and its history, a reading of “Stormy’s Story,” an equipment race between students and a mini-game show with Stormy. Each program ends with a two-way discussion between the students and Ron the Ref about a topic the class has been focusing on, such as respect, hard work, or teamwork. Our goal is to teach kids about hockey, as well as inspiring them to do their best and be team players.

Please contact Ryan O’Quinn, Promotions and Fan Development Coordinator, at for more information or to sign up!

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