It was just yesterday that I was speaking with other members of the Seattle Sin Bin on the role hockey can play in peoples lives. The fan base may be small, but it’s passionate and when you mix that passion with cause, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.
Beginning in 1998, the two have teamed up in an effort to raise money to support individuals with a home-away-from-home while members of their family are being cared for at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital. The fundraiser has brought in over $6-million and they will look to add to that total as teams from Microsoft face-off for the cause. This years event also includes two NHLtoSeattle teams and an all-star game — all capped off with an important divisional match-up between the Seattle Thunderbirds and the Everett Silvertips.
John Barr of NHLtoSeattle has participated since the event was being held at KeyArena and his teams are set to raise over $40,000.
“The Ronald McDonald House hockey challenge is something that I’ve been apart of since I moved to Seattle nearly 16 years ago, when the Thunderbirds were still playing at KeyArena,” said Barr. “It really brings out the best in the greater Seattle hockey community by raising money for the RMHC through hockey.”
“I started out as a player, then a captain and now I am putting an NHLtoSeattle game together with two teams of fundraisers facing off against each other,” he continued. “My teams should raise over 40,000 for the Ronald McDonald House which makes me really proud. It’s something I look forward to every year for a great cause.”
The first game begins at 8:55 am between “Office 365” and team “Windows”. Team “LinkedIn” will face-off against team “Xbox Live” at 10:35 am as well as “DevDiv” at 1:55 pm. “Katie’s Krushers” will go head-to-head with “Manny’s Mayhem” at 12:15 pm and the NHLtoSeattle game will take place at 3:35 pm. An All-Star Game featuring local celebrities and TBird Alumni is planned to close out the night.
The All-Star teams will be coached by Spike O’Neill of the Nate & Spike Show on KZOK 102.5 FM and Matt Mikolas of the Morning Show on Sportsradio 950 KJR. 17-year-old Bretton Chitwood, last years Hockey Challenge Kid Captain, will return to play in the game as he continues his battle with bone cancer.
“I saw my friends continuing their hockey careers. And I wanted to plays so bad,” Bretton told Gabe Cohen of KOMO-TV. “It’s not about how much you fall, it’s about how much you get back up.”
Cohen wrote a wonderful piece on Bretton which can be found at KOMO News.
Former Seattle Totems legends Guyle Fielder and Tom McVie will also be in attendance for the event. Autographed copies of Guyles new book, I Just Wanted To Play Hockey, will be available for purchase for $30 cash or $35 when using a credit or debit card. Custom Guyle and McVie TBirds jerseys will be autographed and auctioned off in the Challenge Jersey Auction.
You can find the official press release on the Thunderbirds website.
Full day tickets, including the 6:05 pm match-up between the TBirds the the Silvertips, can be purchased online at through the Thunderbirds website or by Calling the T-Birds office at (253) 239-7825. Purchase premium level seating using the promo code “RMHC”. Donations can be made through the RMHC website.