| |Shawn Horcoff was named as Oilers captain on Wednesday, Oct. 7 2010 at Rexall Place (Photo by Andy Devlin / EOHC).
As recipients of this year’s Murray Koch Youth Leadership Development Award, (Thursday, Nov. 17) six young athletes from West Central had the chance to go to the Edmonton Oilers game. This was thanks to the efforts of (Special Olympics of Alberta's) new President and CEO, Captain Kirk, who explored a program called “HORCOFF’S HEROES.”
Launched in 2008, Oilers captain, Shawn Horcoff
, purchases a block of tickets that have been donated to local charities in Oil Country.
"The 'HORCOFF’S HEROES' program sees 15 children experience an NHL game in person as a guest of Horcoff and the Oilers."
Prior to each game, Shawn meets his "Heroes" of the night in front of the Oilers dressing room, where he signs autographs, answers questions, and has a photo taken with the children. The children then go upstairs to the Edmonton Oilers Ice School classroom to make posters for the game. They wear their signed “Horcoff's Heroes” t-shirts and enjoy a hot dog and pop before watching the Oilers in action.
“Horcoff's Heroes” is a result of Shawn’s desire to show his commitment to the Edmonton community. “I wanted to give something back to the community that has been so good to my family over the years," said Horcoff. "I want the program to benefit young people and give them an opportunity to enjoy the excitement of Oilers hockey."
It was a very cool event and the athletes had a fantastic time being there live! The athletes were amazed to be in the depths of the building where their heroes reside. They even had an opportunity to sit on the Oilers bench! As the Oilers came out for their warm-up, the Special Olympics athletes were there to cheer them on with a "Go 10 Go! Go 10 Go!" - Shawn Horcoff
As the Oilers came out focused and determined, Horcoff glanced over to the athletes upon hearing his number called out. One athlete, James stated, "He looked right at me!" Ecstatic and enthused, this was definitely a night they will remember in their hearts forever.- Special Olympics of Alberta