Photo by John Russell
Predators head coach Barry Trotz (center) on the GEC plaza work site with the NHLPA's Devin Smith (right) and Raymond Alexcee, a Habitat homeowner in Nashville.
In the shadow of the Gaylord Entertainment Center Wednesday morning, the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players' Association and Habitat for Humanity International announced a new $500,000 partnership for hurricane-relief efforts in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The three organizations turned the GEC plaza into a work site for the day, putting Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun, head coach Barry Trotz, Universal South recording artist Katrina Elam, and staff members of the Predators and Powers Management to work erecting a house frame that will eventually shelter a family in the Nashville area. It will be one of six new homes financed by the partnership. Also on hand were Raymond and Laverne Alexcee, whose family recently moved into its own Habitat house in Nashville after being displaced by hurricane Katrina.
Representatives of each of the organizations were on hand for the announcement, including Ken Martin, director of community and diversity programming for the NHL, and Devin Smith, director of club marketing and community relations for the NHLPA. President and CEO of Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity Chris McCarthy spoke to open and close the press conference, which brought a short stoppage to the construction and also featured comments by Predators color analyst Terry Crisp and Laverne Alexcee.
Working through periods of rain, the volunteers and Habitat building crew first assembled interior and exterior walls on the surface of the plaza, then raised and connected them to form the skeleton of the house. The framed walls will be relocated and reattached in Providence Park, a model Nashville-area Habitat for Humanity neighborhood of 140 homes.
Photos: View the event's photo gallery (44 photos)
Read: Official press release (PDF)