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High School Ice Hockey:
Shawnee Ice Hockey's Special Christmas Party

Sunday, January 4, 2004

By Jim Calore
Head Coach Shawnee Varsity Hockey

Shawnee Varsity Hockey players attended a special Christmas party on Saturday, December 20, 2003. The Burlington County Bar Foundation hosted a holiday party for over 100 children, ranging in age from 1 to 14, from the Burlington County area. These children are those who have been torn away from their homes and put into foster care. Many of the children have been abused physically or mentally and many are slow emotionally due to the lifestyle they've suffered. Most of the parents of these children do not show up and the parents that do show, usually do not participate with the children.

Shawnee Varsity Hockey volunteered to make a difference in a child’s life, if only for a few hours. When the children arrived at the Special Services School, in Mt. Holly, the hockey players were there waiting to greet and assist them. The children arrived at 9:00AM and once they entered the building, they were scared and confused, but mostly lonely. The varsity players were there to talk with the children and get them involved with any of the activities available throughout the time they were there.

The children were naturally attracted to the players, who wore their jerseys, and easily partnered with them constructing crafts and making cards and presents for the holiday. This day, the Shawnee varsity players were positive role models for these foster children who have so few in their lives. Both players and children were touched by the positive spirit of the party. It was, indeed, a special Christmas party for all.

Team photo (with a few foster children who wanted to be included):

Photos provided by Coach Jim Calore

Standing in back left to right: Coach Jim Calore, Brian Ruskowski, John Schneider, Tom Basehore, Bill Ruskowski, Jim Mecchella, David Dinn, Kurt Kaiser, Dave DeBarth
Kneeling in front left to right: Alex Blickle, T.J. Flynn, Griffin Buser, Kevin Calore, Andrew Jamieson.

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