Monday, April 29, 2013

In Which I Beg You For Money (Wait! Don’t Click Away!)

I feel like I haven’t bludgeoned you all over the head with information about Jack’s hockey team and their upcoming Cheetah-thon fundraiser quite enough yet this year. Maybe that is because I still have a post to write about some of the fun things Jack and I did in Lake Placid and I keep thinking that I will bludgeon you then, but I figured while I am “in the process of writing” (aka, staring blankly at my computer screen), I would take a moment to tell you how much it would mean to me and to all of the other Cheetahs families if you would consider donating to our Cheetah-thon.

Jack is the one with the arrow pointing at him. (Wouldn’t it be funny if I had the arrow pointing at some random kid?)
I took that photo above at Jack’s last practice of the season, which took place a little over a week ago. Jack has been skating with the Cheetahs for three years, and three years I have known that this is one of the most incredible things I have ever been involved in.

There are dozens of athletes that play on this team. There are dozens of mostly high school-aged mentors who help those players learn hockey skills. Those dozens of mentors have parents who drive them to early morning practices every Saturday and who plan our Cheetah-thon as part of Bar Mitzvah projects. There are dozens of family members of Cheetahs who watch their children and brothers and sisters with pride in their hearts as they see just how incredibly capable these athletes are. There is a whole team of coaches and volunteers who plan drills, coordinate ice time, organize the mentors, plan tournaments, and skate with the players.

I’ve said it before: Special hockey matters. There is magic in special hockey.

The Cheetahs have a direct day-to-day impact on all of those people that I mentioned above. Jack has made so many friends through the Cheetahs. He’s become stronger physically and he’s become braver mentally. He gets to be a part of something. That is huge.

Then there is the ripple effect. All of these players, mentors, and families reach other people, talk to other people, let them know how amazing these Cheetahs are—not just on the ice, but as people. The magic of special hockey spreads. The message that these young people—typical and with disabilities—and what they do, what they ARE, matter.

If you are local, please consider joining us on May 11 from 5-7 pm at the Rockville Ice Arena for our Cheetah-thon. Hang out, participate in our raffles, and if the spirit moves you, get on the ice with our wonderful players and mentors. Team Stimey will be there and we would love to see you!

If you can’t come in person, I would be so grateful if you could donate to the Cheetahs. This money goes toward ice time, tournament expenses for players who otherwise couldn’t go, and other expenses that directly help these players. The Cheetahs are an all-volunteer organization so you can feel comfortable knowing that all of your money will go directly to the players. It’s tax deductible too!

You can donate on the Cheetahs’ fundraising page or by mailing a check to the address listed there. Be sure to mention Jack if you are donating in his honor so I can thank you. Also, Team Stimey will be matching donations made in Jack’s name up to $500 total. Your $5 donation will become $10! Your $50 donation will become $100! Your $1000 donation will become…well, $1500. Anything helps. And anything is appreciated—not just by me but by the entire Cheetah Nation.

My medium-sized champion appreciates it too.
Thank you so much to all the wonderful people who have already donated to the Cheetah-thon. Mir, Michal, Laura, Stacy, and my mom and stepdad, you are making magic. Thank you.

Team Stimey’s Cheetah-thon total thus far: $300. Wow. You guys are awesome. See? Magic.

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