The Amputee Coalition and the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program, an ice hockey team of disabled American veterans, have formed a partnership to promote and expand the team. The Minnesota Warriors Hockey Recruitment Initiative, powered by a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Olympic Committee through Veterans Affairs, will be a joint effort to build recognition and recruitment for the team through stepped-up marketing, media and fundraising efforts.
The Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program, all of whose members are disabled American veterans, is divided into two teams: standup/amputee and sled hockey for both men and women. The team has grown from four players in 2010 to 24 today. Based on the number of disabled veterans living in Minnesota and the popularity of the game, it is estimated that the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program should be able to support a minimum of 12 teams throughout the state with at least 240 players.
“The Amputee Coalition is proud to join forces with the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program, an organization that aligns with our goals to educate, integrate and to help people reach their full potential after a loss,” said Kendra Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of the Amputee Coalition. “We thank the U.S. Olympic Committee and Veterans Affairs for awarding this grant, which will be designed to increase recruitment and public awareness so the team can realize their goals for expansion for fundraising to achieve sustainability of the program into the future.”
The Amputee Coalition works with the military and the Veterans Affairs on numerous projects designed to support service men and women who have lost limbs in battle. These projects include support for caregivers who suffer from stress and to education for health care providers on issues unique to amputee health care.
“The Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Board is excited to work alongside the outstanding professionals at the Amputee Coalition, who have done so much to enhance the lives of our disabled veterans,” said Heidi Y. Pierson, president Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey. “It is the intent of the Warriors program to focus on building connections through the Amputee Coalition that will lead to a dynamic and dramatic growth of the team and to expand to other rural regions of Minnesota. This has been a goal of the Warriors from the beginning. Now, with the assistance of the Amputee Coalition we will gain the credible connections and media expertise that match the Warriors’ goals.”
Honoring veterans on Veteran Day, Nov. 11, the Minnesota Warriors and the National Hockey League (NHL) Alumni will blend teams to play the Veterans Day Classic in Chaska. The NHL Alumni is an organization of former NHL pros who are dedicated to giving back to the community.
The event is open to the general public. For more information, visit www.amputee-coalition.org or 888/267-5669.