Graham and LuAnn Snyder are in the midst of a whirlwind tour.
Traveling by RV, they’re visiting all 30 NHL cities during the 2006-07 season.
They’re not doing it to see the sights.
Rather, the parents of former NHL player Dan Snyder, who was killed in a 2003 car accident, are delivering a message of forgiveness, hope, and determination to players, teams, and communities.
In each city, the Snyders will attend a game, visit with teams, and participate in community-minded speaking engagements to raise awareness and funds for the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to providing scholarship opportunities to young athletes, to assist in the pursuit of their goals. It also supports the fundraising for a multi-use recreational center, to be built in Dan’s hometown of Elmira in 2008. In his memory and in recognition of his many contributions to the community, the centerpiece of this complex has been designated The Dan Snyder Memorial Arena.
The Snyders made their visit to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The Penguins gave them some autographed jerseys and players Sidney Crosby, Mark Recchi and Ryan Malone, among others, met with Graham Snyder. Crosby and Recchi autographed a unique poster Graham Snyder is having all the captains of NHL teams sign when he visits each city.
“We’re on stop No. 26 of a whirlwind NHL tour. We’re here to raise funds and awareness for the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation, which we’ve established, and also to help out where we can, doing community work. Working in the communities where he played is a legacy Dan left us,” Graham said. “I’m not sure how it exactly came to be. I got a number of requests to speak to groups about the journey our family has been on the last few years. A lot of our requests were coming from the hockey community, so we decided to take our show on the road to them.”
Forgiveness is a big part of their message.
“I think it’s something that we think is a very important message. Forgiveness is sometimes a difficult concept, especially when you’re feeling pretty strong emotions like grief,” Graham said. “But, it is possible. I guess I want people to know that we do have a choice – we don’t always think we do, but the choice is there and it’s a very healing choice for both the party that’s being forgiven and the forgiver.”
Dan Snyder played parts of two seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers (2001-03). In 49 career NHL games, he had 16 points (11+5) and 64 penalty minutes.
For more information on The Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation, click here.