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Wings recognize league pioneer, O'Ree

by Anne Marie Krappmann / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- The Red Wings Foundation continued its support of the Detroit Hockey Association on Friday, presenting a check for $30,000 in support of DHA’s Hockey in the Hood 4 tournament. In the pre-game ceremony, the Red Wings also recognized Willie O’Ree on his 50th Anniversary of becoming the first black player in the National Hockey League.

The Hockey in the Hood 4 tournament games are taking place this weekend, February 15-17 at Hockeytown State Fair Arena and Jack Adams Memorial Arena in Detroit. The championship games will be played at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Sunday, February 17 at Joe Louis Arena.

In addition to the host Detroit Hockey Association Dragons, the tournament features an additional 10 programs from Wasilla, Alaska; Boston; Buffalo; Chicago; Columbus; New Jersey; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Washington D.C.; and the Detroit-based Clark Park program.

“We are extremely grateful to the Detroit Red Wings organization for their continued support,” said DHA President Will McCants. “This tournament allows us to promote ethnically diverse hockey organizations from across the country. We are honored once again to have Willie O’Ree join us for this fantastic weekend of hockey and friendship.”

“The Red Wings Foundation is proud to once again sponsor Hockey in the Hood and the Detroit Hockey Association,” said Ilitch Charities President David Agius. “We applaud the Detroit Hockey Association for it’s efforts to encourage young people to play the great sport of hockey, and commend Willie O’Ree on his milestone anniversary.”

The second annual Chris Chelios Perseverance Award, an honor given each year to an individual or organization who participates in Hockey in the Hood, will be presented at the tournament banquet at 7 p.m. February 16 at the Detroit Renaissance Center Marriott. The award is named in Chelios’ honor in recognition of his commitment to youth hockey and the Red Wings Foundation.

The DHA is an amateur, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax exempt youth ice hockey organization based at the Jack Adams Memorial Arena in Detroit. The Detroit Hockey Association provides competitive ice hockey programs for the developed as well as the developing player. Teams, known as the Detroit Dragons, are available for boys and girls of all age groups. For more information, please visit or

The Red Wings Foundation supports several initiatives and organizations including: the development of inner city youth hockey, the fight against cancer, a wide array of children’s health, educational and recreational activities and other needs of the community through the sport of hockey. The Red Wings Foundation is associated with Ilitch Charities, an IRS recognized 501c3 organization.
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