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A Decade of the LA Kings Ice Crew

Now's your chance to join the LA Kings Ice Crew and help bridge the gap between the organization and its fans

by Deborah Lew @by_DeborahLew / LAKings.com

Ten years ago, Brooklyn Boyars became Manager of Game Presentation for the LA Kings, largely to bring to life a vision for a team that would bridge the gap between the organization and its fans.

"My goal from the start has always been a co-ed team of great brand representatives, passionate about the Kings, that could build real connections with our fans and help grow our brand and the game in the greater LA area. It has never been a cheerleading team, nor a dance or performance troupe," says Boyars.

In addition to working all Kings' home games, the Ice Crew makes 350 to 400 appearances annually, which about half are community or Kings Care Foundation related.

Auditions for the Kings Ice Crew will be held June 30-July 1!

The Kings Ice Crew has raised over $700,000 to date, which includes sales from their yearly calendar. Aside from being a fundraiser, these calendars are donated to more than 6,500 military personnel serving across the globe annually.

"We get to talk one-on-one with fans during games, and by selling our calendars and Bailey's Buddies [packages], we get to personally speak about the Kings Care Foundation and really make the Foundation relatable to people who might not necessarily know about the charities it benefits" said Keegan Ewing, a four-year Ice Crew veteran.

In addition to regular visits to CHLA, Camp Ronald McDonald, libraries, and schools, there are also unique opportunities for the team such as invitations to the Hollywood Christmas Parade and special recognition from the Mayor of Los Angeles.

"I never expected the team to be here when I started this 10 years ago, but it's certainly exciting to see this is what it has grown into," said Boyars. 

"We talk a lot about 'leaving a legacy.' The legacy these Ice Crew members are building is quite remarkable."

Video: The Kings support the Shoes That Fit program

A total of 125 men and women have donned the Kings Ice Crew uniform, 17 of which have gone on to full or part-time roles with the LA Kings, AEG, Fox Sports West, and other teams.

Over the years, the Ice Crew has included some interesting personalities and even family members - two sisters, two brothers, and two cousins simultaneously. Fox Sports West's Xtra Point Host, Carrlyn Bathe, was an Ice Crew member for five seasons, and now her brother, Jordan, a former college-level hockey player, wears the uniform.

The Ice Crew alumni also includes a female veteran of the United States Air Force; a veteran of the United States Army; a renowned magician who tours internationally and appeared on 'The David Letterman Show;' and a pair of girls who appeared as a team on the television show 'The Amazing Race.'

One alum came to Ice Crew auditions in 2015 after having a rare experience with the Kings two years earlier. Battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Tyler Fithian was a recipient of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was granted his wish to skate with Kings center, Anze Kopitar, and as part of the experience, met members of the Kings Ice Crew and dropped the ceremonial puck at STAPLES Center a few nights later.

"It was truly exciting to watch him go through the audition process, make the team, and then have his own impact on Kings fans as a member of the Kings Ice Crew," said Boyars.

One of the most talked about stories regarding the Kings Ice Crew was in 2017 when Los Angeles played host to the NHL All-Star Game. The scheduled anthem performer, musical group Fifth Harmony, was forced to cancel at the last minute. 12 minutes before the anthem was scheduled to take place, Boyars answered a panicked call asking if she knew of anyone who could step in. Ice Crew member Courtney Daniels, who was in uniform preparing to shovel snow during the game, changed her clothes in super-hero time, and indeed saved the day.

Video: Courtney Daniels sings the national anthem

At the conclusion of the game, the NHL invited Daniels to participate in the MVP and check presentations, and also later commissioned her to sing the anthem at a Stadium Series game - that time, with plenty of notice.

The Kings and the Ontario Reign are holding joint auditions for both Ice Crews the weekend of June 30-July 1.

"Come in with lots of energy and be yourself," said Ewing, who decided to audition after interacting with members of the Ice Crew at a Kings game. "People will love you for you and your managers will get to know you better if you are not afraid to have some fun during auditions. Be outgoing, smile, and really get to know as many people as you can. Expect the unexpected because it is so worth gaining a new group of friends."

Although a significant portion of the audition process takes place on the ice, according to Boyars, skating comprises only five percent of the total job, and lack of skating experience should not hinder anyone's decision to try out. Nearly half of all Ice Crew members have no previous skating experience upon making the team, and that isn't a problem.

"I can teach people how to skate, but I can't teach people to be good people, or genuine people, or passionate people," Boyars says. "That is what we're looking for first and foremost. Skating has been, and always will be, secondary."

So, who's in?

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