See below for the full list of previous winners for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty Youth Hockey Mom of the Year contest.
When you have 5 exceptional Hockey Mom of the Month winners, how do you decide who will be Hockey Mom of the Year? It was the task that we gave our judging panel which was joined by special guest judge and fellow hockey mom, Leslie Rutherford, of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was a hard decision for our panel, but they felt that one mom truly exemplified all of the characteristics of a winning Hockey Mom of the Year. That mom is Tammy Kitterman with the Pittsburgh Penguins Blind Hockey Team.
On the team, Tammy's title Team Coordinator and Parent Liaison, but those titles don't adequately cover all that Tammy does for the Pittsburgh Penguins Blind Hockey Team. She assists the head coach, who also is her husband Grant, provides communication and information to all the parents, and searches out local rinks to find those willing to provide ice time for this small group of players so that they can practice. But above all of her other duties, Tammy is a source of support for the kids both on and off the ice.
To read more about what Tammy does for youth hockey and the community at large, click here. We are truly proud to call her the 2018-2019 Hockey Mom of the Year!
Congratulations to our February Hockey Mom of the Month winner, Colleen Sciorilli! Mom to Adam and Sarah, Colleen is involved with the youth of Washington County both on and off the ice. As a board-certified history teacher at Canon McMillan High School for the past 20 years, Colleen brings her love of history to the kids on a daily basis. She teaches her students in the classroom and also serves as a chaperone on school field trips to historical landmarks like Gettysburg where she can really bring the subject of history "alive".
Colleen brings the same skills she uses as a teacher into her role as the Business Manager for the Southpointe Amateur Hockey Association. Colleen has held that role for the past 7 years, and also served as the Business Manager for the Canon McMillan Middle School hockey team for 2 years.
As the Business Manager, Colleen has organized many team events, dinners, and tournaments over the years. She has also ensured that her players have had the chance to give back to those less fortunate by organizing a number of charitable activities for the players to participate in including a Skate-A-Thon where the players skated laps to earn money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, Steel City Icebergs, and Team Tessa of Pittsburgh. The players also participated in the South Fayette Glow Run to raise money for the 4 Diamonds Fund that helps kids with cancer and by collecting donations for the Washington County Food Bank.
Colleen's philanthropic efforts also extend into her day job and her personal life. At Canon McMillan High School, Colleen has organized efforts to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation and also organized the efforts to send over 500 care packages to soldiers serving overseas. As a member of Peace Lutheran Church, Colleen has volunteered with Meals on Wheels delivering meals to those in need.
With all that she does, it is pretty easy to see why parents love and admire all of Colleen's efforts and work both on and off the ice. Congratulations!
Congratulations to our first Hockey Mom winner of 2019, Tammy Kitterman from Bethel Park. Tammy's
son, Brock, plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins Blind Hockey Team. When Brock was 12 weeks old, he was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer. Tammy had to fight for her son's life and she has continued to fight for her son every day to make sure his needs are met. Fast-forward to today, Brock is 14 years old and even though both visually and hearing impaired, he is one of the star players of his hockey team.
As a Hockey Mom, Tammy was described as, "the backbone of the team". She serves as the team
coordinator where she has to wear many different hats, to say the least! Tammy assists the head coach, who also happens to be her husband Grant, provides communication and information to all the parents, and searches out local rinks to find those willing to provide ice time for this small group of players so that they can practice. But above all of her other duties, Tammy is a source of support for the kids. Often times she can be found in the player's box taking action shots and is always cheering them on.
During the day, Tammy is a school bus driver for the Peters Township School District. In between runs,
Tammy acts as a Parent Advocate and Liaison for parents and children who may need guidance in
receiving specialized services from different school districts in the area. Even when school is not in
session, Tammy does not take summers off. For the past 10 years, Tammy is a "Camp Mom" at Slippery Rock University's, "ENVISION Blind Sports Summer Camp", which takes place every year during the second week of June.
Whether it is one of the ENVISION campers or one of the hockey players on the team, you can count on Tammy to pick them up, without coddling, and get them moving. The very same way she handled
Brock's life-threatening diagnosis years ago. We are honored to have Tammy as our Hockey Mom of the Month for January.
Congratulations to Julie Soose, Hockey Mom of the Month for December. Being a Hockey Mom is familiar territory for Julie as her three children, Aidan, Tristan and Lydia, all play. Julie is actively involved with the North Pittsburgh Wildcats 16U Midget team the 14U Bantam team where she is the Team Manager for both. As Team Manager, she is called upon to coordinate all of the administrative tasks, team finances, and scheduling of ice time, games, tournaments, etc. Julie also holds a position on the North Allegheny Ice Hockey Board where she serves as Registrar.
Outside of the hockey rink, Julie is just as busy in her daily life. Residing in Sewickley with her husband, Ryan, Julie works as a day-to-sub for North Allegheny school district and serves as President of the Franklin Elementary School Parent Faculty Association organizing family events, student activities, and fundraising programs. Along with being a devoted Hockey Mom, Julie is also a devoted band mom where she is a chaperone for the NA marching band. Congratulations again to Julie for being a great mom!
Congratulations to Greensburg native, Mandi Hammond, who was named Hockey Mom of the Month for November. Mandi was described as "always taking care of everyone else", and we can see why!
Mandi is a mom to two hockey-playing sons, Ethan and Noah, who play for Hempfield Area school teams and the Westmoreland Hockey Association (WHA). Mandi is heavily involved in WHA where she devotes her time and efforts to keep the organization a safe, fun place for kids to grow their love of hockey!
Serving as association President for the last three years, Mandi is passionate about improving hockey for every kid. She has introduced countless new opportunities, additional ice time for teams, family events, player development opportunities and has worked to create a family-friendly, fun atmosphere so that everyone feels welcome and a member of the hockey family. Mandi is always available to families whether it is answering emails or helping to a way for families to afford equipment, dues, jerseys ensuring that no child is without. If managing the entire organization is not enough, Mandi is also the Manager of Noah's 10U team.
Taking care of people not only happens on the ice for but also off the ice. Mandi is married to her husband, holds a full-time job as an Occupational Therapist in a local hospital, and is very active in the Harold Zion Lutheran Church. Congratulations again to Mandi for going above and beyond for others in and out of the hockey community!
Congratulations to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty's Hockey Mom winner for October, Kristi Minnick. As the first Hockey Mom winner of the season, Kristi takes the word "volunteer" to a whole new level.
Kristi is the mom to one son, Keaton, who plays ice hockey for the Butler Valley Dawgs (squirt one team) and Deer Lakes Hockey Club (developmental team) where she is an integral part of the club serving on the Board of Directors as the Director of Fundraising and the Director of Social Media. But what Kristi does for the Deer Lakes Hockey Club (DLHC) goes beyond her title. She runs the hockey equipment exchange programs, hosts informational tables at each of the school's open houses, runs spirit wear and hoagie sales, organizes bingo events with Chinese raffle baskets, and runs spaghetti dinners all in hopes to raise money for DLHC so that more kids will be given the opportunity to play ice hockey for their school.
In addition to being able to offer her son, Keaton, the opportunity to play ice hockey, Kristi and her husband, Randy, have also opened their hearts and home to welcome in 19-year-old Junior Hockey player, August, from Sweden. Being a billet parent is a commitment. You not only open up your home to these young players, but it also means you become an extended family for these out of state or out of the country players.
To read more about Kristi and why she was selected as The Preferred Realty's Hockey Mom of the Month, go to
Congratulations to Lisa Crespo Northwood's Hockey Mom of the Month winner for February! Lisa hails from Beaver County where she resides with her husband, Steve, and son, Brandon. Brandon plays hockey for two teams; the Blackhawk Cougars, his middle school team, and the Beaver County Badgers Bantam team, his amateur team. With her son playing for two teams, Lisa is an equal-opportunity hockey mom holding the exact same positions on both teams. She is on the Board of Directors, organizes all the fundraisers, and volunteers as the Business Team Manager.
Lisa's volunteerism for the hockey club doesn't end there. She has been coordinating the "Puck Stop" snack bar at Bradys Run Park Ice Arena for the Badgers Association for the past 4+ years. Lisa places all the inventory orders, manages the finances, and schedules her crew of 12 to man the snack bar. The Puck Shop also provides an opportunity for parents of players to work to receive credit towards their children's hockey fees. This allows children to be able to play hockey for low to no cost.
Lisa also tackles the Blackhawk Cougars ice time fees which are always the largest chunk of an organization's budget. To raise funds, Lisa has coordinated a "Purse Bash" for the last two years where they have netted approximately $23,000. They will hold a third Purse Bash later this year which Lisa will coordinate.
Lisa organizes all these fundraising opportunities so that hockey is affordable and everyone has the opportunity to play. Her feelings of giving everyone the opportunity to play hockey extends beyond just the kids of Beaver County; it includes the adults too!
Several years ago, Lisa decided she wanted to learn how to play hockey. Unfortunately, she couldn't find any "Learn to Play" opportunities for adults. So, Lisa gathered together other adults that wanted to learn and asked a few coaches to teach them. Soon enough, they had enough adults to fill two teams that could practice and play some games together, and Lisa introduced a "beginners" league for adults the next year. Currently, the league houses three different adult divisions, based on skill level, for over 200 adults.
Because of everything that she does for others and her dedication to making hockey accessible for everyone, Lisa is a worthy winner as February's Hockey Mom. Congrats!
Congratulations to Lori Hegedus, Northwood's Hockey Mom of the Month winner for March 2017! Lori, mother to Brayden and Bryce, is the President and Registrar of Norwin Hockey Club. She also holds the title as the "ultimate fundraising machine" for the organization. Lori keeps the best interests of all players in the forefront of her mind. She is continuously looking for and applying for grants and scholarships for the players. As one of the parents stated, "Lori sometimes has to make difficult decisions for the Club, but she does so for the benefit of all of the players."
Outside of Norwin Hockey Club, Lori took on another position in the hockey world this past year. She is the Rules Interpreter for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL). The Rules Interpreter overseas and assists the 68 associations and 152 teams within the PIHL as they navigate through the rules and eligibility process.
During the day, you can find Lori at one of her other two passions: children and dogs. She is a 7th and 8th grade mathematics teacher for special needs students at Founders Hall Middle School in McKeesport. She has been a teacher for over 16 years and believes in being an advocate for children. Annually, Lori volunteers at the local "Race for Grace 5K/1Mile Walk" which benefits the Reflections of Grace Foundation. The Foundation was named after 5 year old, Grace Elizabeth Ekis, who lost a 13 month battle with brain cancer in 2008. As a huge dog lover, Lori volunteers with animal rescue groups participating in rescue transports and adoption home visits.
Congratulations to Lori! Norwin and PIHL are fortunate to have such a great hockey mom as their leader.
Congratulations to Eileen, Northwood's Youth Hockey Mom winner for February 2017. Eileen, mom of 17 year old Regina, is the President of Steel City Selects (SCS) Hockey Organization. SCS is an all-female ice hockey organization in Pittsburgh that develops and prepares teenage female athletes for opportunities to play hockey in college and at higher levels. Eileen was nominated by several people including 2010 and 2014 USA Olympic Goaltender, Brianne McLaughlin.
Eileen was described by those who nominated her as hard-working, extremely dedicated, selfless and a great role model. She is described as a "hands-on" President who inspires the girls to be athletes with integrity and values.
Eileen stresses the importance and responsibility that each player has to not only be a great athlete, but to also leave a positive impact on their community. Annually, the hockey organization takes part in different events which benefit charities such as; Toys for Tots and the Women's Domestic Violence Shelter.
Eileen practices what she preaches in giving back to the community as she turned the personal tragedy of losing her daughter Bethany to chemical addiction into a way to help others when she founded the Little Wings of Hope Foundation with her husband, Guy. The Little Wings of Hope Foundation, where Eileen currently serves as President and Executive Director, provides both financial assistance and encouragement to young adults and their families as they seek alcohol and drug addiction treatment through the Caron Treatment Center.
Even though Eileen's daughter, Regina, recently left the SCS to pursue an opportunity to play junior hockey in Ontario, Canada, Eileen is a permanent fixture in the stands at SCS games and practices. She is currently working to establish a summer camp program for the girls so that they can hone their hockey skills throughout the year.
Kim is Northwood's Youth Hockey Mom winner for January 2017! Kim is a mother of three children, Jeffrey; Gianna; Antonio, with both boys playing hockey for Fayette Area Youth Hockey Association Ice Miners. In addition to her full-time job as a 10th grade History teacher at Connellsville High School, Kim holds four board positions at FAYHA.
Kim currently serves as the Treasurer, Tournament Coordinator, Registrar and Special Events Coordinator. One of this year's events was the FAYHA Halloween Coal Cup. This Mite tournament is in its 6th year, included trick-or-treating for the kids and was a big success! Kim has also been integral in FAYHA's, "Try Hockey For Free" program. Kim coordinated the equipment sales/exchange program which allows area youth to participate and try-out hockey for the first time.
While the Fleck family resides in Mt. Pleasant, Kim has a strong connection to the Connellsville area through her position as a teacher in the school district for over 17 years. Her compassion for others and her bond with the community was personified this past August when the Connellsville area was devastated by a flood which damaged more than 160 homes. Kim started an email drive requesting donations for those affected by the flood. Her efforts alone helped fill 6-7 trucks with supplies and donations to the overwhelmed and distressed families in Connellsville.
Kim's commitment and passion for her hockey family, as well as, the community is why she is Northwood's Hockey Mom of January 2017. Congratulations Kim!
Suellen is Northwood's Youth Hockey Mom of December 2016! Suellen, a mother of three, is a proud hockey mom to son, Mark, who plays for the Southpointe Rinkrats PeeWee 1 team. Suellen took on a new role this year as the team Business Manager. Suellen makes sure the team has everything it needs and creates a supportive and caring hockey environment for the kids. She is a liaison between the coach and parents, completes scoresheets, keeps parents informed, creates events and leads all team fundraising activities. Suellen takes the time to assess what the kids need and tailors her ideas with them in mind. Beyond the business end of things, Suellen is the team's biggest cheerleader; always reminding the team that they are the best no matter what adversity they may encounter.
This year, the team has set their sights on competing in a tournament in Lake Placid, NY. With a price ticket of $500 per person for the tournament, Suellen has had to be creative with fundraising. One new event she has created is called "Beer"icle on Ice, a craft beer fundraiser involving over 10 local home-grown businesses.
Suellen keeps pretty busy outside of hockey as well. She is a Band Teacher at Sto-Rox Junior/Senior High School and also heads up the Honors Band for both Junior and Senior high schools. During the summer, she volunteers at the Canon Big Mac Band Camp.
Erin, the mother of two youth hockey players, is Northwood's Youth Hockey Mom of November 2016. Erin's children, Luke and Sasha, are both hockey players for SHAHA (South Hills Amateur Hockey Association) where Erin sits on the Board of Directors. For the last three years, Erin has been the association Scheduler. This year, Erin was given the dubious task of scheduling the same amount of ice time as last year for all of 475 kids in the association despite losing one whole sheet of ice. One parent said, "SHAHA hockey would not be SHAHA without Erin!", and SHAHA president, Ron Michalek, called Erin, "the voice of reason" and acknowledged her positive impact on the entire association.
Erin is also currently the Co-Director of Girls Hockey for SHAHA; a position she held previously for the PAHL. She conceived and created a developmental program for girls in years past and continues to pursue new developmental opportunities for girls today. Erin is also passionate about the Pittsburgh Emperors Ice Hockey program which is a program designed specifically for children with disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, Autism and other various physical developmental delays issues, to be able to participate in the sport of hockey.
Laura Tracy, a Robinson Twp. resident, was named as the first grand prize recipient of Northwood's Hockey Mom of the Year contest. Laura's grand prize pack consisted of 5 tickets to the Pittsburgh Penguins last home game of the year facing cross state rivals the Philadelphia Flyers, a bouquet of roses and gift cards. In addition, and perhaps the best prize of all, a $1000 donation was awarded to the team of her choice. Laura chose the Montour Hockey Association to receive the donation.
The President of the Montour Hockey Association stated, "The donation from Northwood goes a long way for us to help keep hockey affordable for all the families in our school district. That has been Laura's focus for many years and not just for hockey, but also for other sports organizations in the community and local charitable foundations. This is especially true when it comes to other children in need in our local area. We have had several children stricken with horrific cancers and other life threatening illnesses over the past seven years. Laura been instrumental in raising funds for these children using her hockey fundraising group as a vehicle to assist in the fundraising for these foundations and memorials. That's one of the reasons she manages so many charity events. She's always helping others and she always does it with a smile on her face!"
Laura Tracy, a Robinson Twp. resident and mother of three youth hockey players is Northwood's Youth Hockey Mom of February. All three of Laura's children play for the Montour Hockey Association with her two boys playing on the Varsity team at Montour High School and her daughter playing on Montour's Developmental Program.
Laura has held several different positions over 13 years as a hockey mom including being Team Manager for both the JV and Varsity teams at Montour. Besides being a hockey mom, Laura is also a player! Both Laura and her husband, Ed, play ice hockey in adult leagues.
During the day, Laura is a teacher and traveling curriculum trainer. At night and on weekends when she is not being the Team Manager, Laura works on her true passion, fundraising. On game nights, Laura can be found working the door, selling admission tickets, and selling 50/50 raffles to support the teams. On non-game days she is still fundraising. Laura has been an integral part of fundraising for her children's schools, community baseball teams and on behalf of several local children that were stricken by horrific illnesses.
Stephanie, a resident of Sarver and a mother of two youth hockey players, is Northwood's Youth Hockey Mom of January. Stephanie's sons participate in the Freeport Mini-Jackets Development Program, as well as, the Armstrong Arrows Amateur Hockey Association.
Stephanie is a renal dietitian by day and a super hockey mom by night and weekends! She has been a Freeport Yellow Jacket board member for the last 3 years, team manager for the Freeport Mini-Jackets for the last 5 years and is the Youth Hockey Director for the Freeport Hockey Boosters devoting countless hours recruiting both players and coaches to ensure that the children in the Freeport area have a place to develop and hone their ice hockey skills. Stephanie is also the fundraising chairperson, clothing/team apparel coordinator, team liaison, team photo organizer and manages the schedule.
Stephanie is an active volunteer at Buffalo Elementary School where she is the 1st Vice President of the PTO. Stephanie is described by PTO President, Becky Fisher, as "a very dedicated mother with a great sense of humor and an endless amount of energy."
Mary Alice, a Cranberry Township resident and mother of two youth hockey players, is Northwood's Youth Hockey Mom of December. Mary Alice's son plays travel hockey for the North Pittsburgh Wildcats PeeWee team while her daughter plays for the Lady Wildcats.
Mary Alice is well known for her constant, uplifting smile and how she thoroughly enjoys helping others. When she is not working as a Mental Health Therapist/Social Worker, Mary Alice is the hockey travel team manager, house league manager, fundraising chair and an active board member for the North Pittsburgh Youth Hockey Association (NPYHA). She organizes tryouts, assists the coaches, arranges hotels for the families during travel games, sets up birthday parties for the players and schedules playoffs and tournaments.
Mary Alice is also active in her community where she volunteers for her local church, her son's Boy Scout troops, her daughter's Girl Scouts troop and her children's school Parent/Teacher Organization.