The Rochester Americans announced today that the team will take part in the Buffalo Sabres’ “Community Assist” Program next week. The community initiative will involve Amerks players, coaches and team officials supporting a variety of different non-profit organizations and community outreach programs throughout the Greater Rochester Area.
The Amerks’ “Community Assist” Program will be a week-long endeavor and will take place between Sunday, Oct. 20 and Friday, Oct. 25 to coincide with the Sabres’ “Community Assist” efforts that are scheduled to take place from Friday, Oct. 18 to Wednesday, Oct. 23. The six-day venture will feature Amerks players and staff participating in on-ice practices, the debut of the ninth season of the Amerks Reading Power Play Program as well as the highly anticipated ball hockey game at the School of the Holy Childhood. Team officials will also contribute to the cause as members of the Front Office will prepare breakfast for residents and families of the local Ronald McDonald House.
“We are excited to bring the Sabres’ Community Assist Program here to Rochester,” said Amerks Vice President of Business Operations Rob Kopacz. “The Greater Rochester community has done so much for us over the years and we feel this is an excellent opportunity for us to kickoff our season-long effort to give back.”
The schedule of events for the Amerks’ “Community Assist” Program is as follows:
Sunday, Oct. 20: Rochester Ice Cats practice
The Rochester Americans and Rochester Ice Cats will renew their longstanding relationship for another year as Amerks players continue to skate with the team throughout the season, beginning on Sunday, Oct. 20 when forwards Frederick Roy and Kevin Sundher help the Ice Cats usher in the 2013-14 season. The pair will provide on-ice instruction and assist coaches with fundamental skill development. The Amerks purchased a full set of white Ice Cats uniforms complete with an Amerks patch on the chest that the team will donate to the Ice Cats during Saturday night’s game against Utica. The Ice Cats, also known as Rochester Special Hockey, are members of Special Hockey International – a division of USA Hockey. The organization specializes in providing training in the game of ice hockey for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Ice Cats organization has an active roster of 38 players. These individuals, both male and female, range in age from eight to 40, and truly have a love for the game. They give 100% at all times, during both practice and games, and are always willing and able to learn new skills. The team is geared to individual needs with an emphasis on sportsmanship and learning to interact with others. The Ice Cats are a non-profit volunteer organization, with support coming from all our families, both as coaches, trainers, drivers and most of all fans. All practices begin at 4:30 p.m. and are held at the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex on the campus of MCC.
Monday, Oct. 21: Amerks Reading Power Play, presented by Wendy’s
The Amerks and the Monroe County Libraries are again partnering to provide the “Reading Power Play,” which teams Amerks players with local public librarians in support of reading. The 2013-14 season marks the ninth year of the program, presented exclusively by Wendy’s. The Amerks will kick off the 2013-14 program on Monday, Oct. 21 at the Sully Branch Library with the first of seven reading appearances. Amerks defenseman Matt MacKenzie will be on hand starting at 4:00 p.m. The “Reading Power Play” allows fans to meet players and The Moose, while also learning about hockey and the importance of reading. The program involves players stopping by local libraries, reading to kids and giving a hockey demonstration. Each appearance also features a raffle for Amerks memorabilia and an autograph session by the visiting player and The Moose.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: School of the Holy Childhood
For the second straight year, a small contingent of Amerks players will trade in their skates for sneakers as they take on a team of student-athletes in a ball hockey game at the School of the Holy Childhood on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Amerks forwards Mike Zigomanis, Tim Schaller and Luke Adam and defensemen Drew Bagnall, Chad Ruhwedel and Alex Lepkowski will test their limits away from the ice in what is shaping up to be an annual event. For more than 65 years, the School of the Holy Childhood, a non-denominational, non-profit agency, has enriched the lives of people with developmental disabilities. Dedicated to serving its students in an atmosphere of dignity and compassion, the school’s mission is to prepare children and adults with developmental disabilities for maximum independence and integration in the community through individualized programs and services, in keeping with the philosophy and vision of the school’s founders.
Friday, Oct. 25: Ronald McDonald House
The Amerks’ “Community Assist” Program will conclude on Friday, Oct. 25 as Amerks Front Office members cook and provide breakfast for the residents and families at the local Ronald McDonald House. Established in 1990, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Rochester provides a “home away from home” each year for families of critically injured and seriously ill children and supports programs that improve the health, education and wellbeing of children. Since its inception, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Rochester have provided a haven for more than 10,000 families traveling to Rochester for their child’s specialized medical care. In 1996, the Rochester Ronald McDonald House merged with the local chapter of Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities. United as Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY, the organization has the power to extend its reach to thousands of children in the Greater Rochester community who benefit from programs and services provided by children’s charities supported through the grants program. The 20-bedroom Ronald McDonald House on Westmoreland Drive provides a warm and peaceful environment. In addition to their comfortable bedrooms, the home offers a three-station kitchen, complimentary laundry facilities, places to relax and watch television, as well as play areas where kids can be kids.