As special as the Alpena High hockey team has proven to be on the ice throughout this magical season that has the Wildcats on the verge of a Big North Conference title to go along with their stellar 20-3 overall record and No. 5 ranking in the state, the Wildcats are just as special off the ice.
On Tuesday, the Alpena hockey team celebrated Valentine’s Day by opening their hearts and spreading love to the community as the Wildcats made their annual Player of the Game donation to the Boys and Girls club of Alpena, presenting the Club with a $750 check along with holding an open skate with club members.
The Alpena High School hockey Player of the Game is sponsored by Vulcan Systems as part of the True North Radio Network live game broadcasts on 107.7 The Bay. Vulcan Systems donates a check on behalf of the players and for the past three years, the Alpena hockey team has donated their Player of the Game check to the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena.
The first two years of this annual tradition, the hockey team presented a $500 check, along with spending time at the Boys and Girls Club. This year, the donation was even higher as the Wildcats presented a $750 check to the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena and welcomed members to Northern Lights Arena so the club members could skate with the Wildcats.
“This is so special. Our kids were able to come here to Northern Lights Arena and getting to skate with the Wildcat hockey team is a dream come true, the kids’ faces tell the story. The hockey team is doing amazing this year and it’s like meeting a celebrity to all these kids,” Catherine Knoch director of operations at Boys and Girls Club said. “The donation today and over the past three years that the hockey team has made is vital to what we’re able to do at the Boys and Girls Club here in Alpena. It just helps us give the youth a better experience and these opportunities wouldn’t be as special or possible without the continued support and kind hearts of the Wildcat hockey team.”
Along with the $750 check from the Wildcat hockey team, Jessica Henry and the staff at Northern Lights Arena set aside ice time to make the event possible and another $800 was donated to cover rental skate costs, anything ne
eded for the event and the Boys and Girls glow skate nights.
A total of over $1,000 wa
s donated back to the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena on Tuesday to go along with the open skate and over the past three years, the Wildcats have donated over $2,000 in checks and gift certificates to the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena as part of the ongoing Player of the Game tradition.
“It’s great to have my kids be involved in the community and to give back, because the community is always supporting us. The team was excited about this and to welcome the Boys and Girls Club members to the rink is fun and special,” Alpena coach Ben Henry said. “It’s just great to see our team and kids give back to the community again today like we have all year. It’s special for our kids and special to be able to give back to Boys and Girls Club of Alpena and help the community any way we possibly can and we’ll do our best to continue giving back and representing our community.”