Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Restore Hockey: Recycling the Game

You’ve probably recently seen people around the Chicago area wearing hockey laces as bracelets. Well, those trendy new bracelets are for a good cause. Restore Hockey is a non-profit organization helping bring hockey to your neighborhood. By providing used equipment to individuals in need, they bring the love of the sport to underprivileged families and communities. With their donations of new and used equipment, people are able to enjoy the game of hockey.


The Massachusetts based company was founded by Michael Spengler and his wife, Carolyn in 2008. Spengler is a former hockey player himself. He played four years of college hockey at Bentley University. As a former player, who knows the price tag of hockey, he's trying to reduce the cost of playing for the future generation. He doesn’t just bring “entrepreneurial spirit” and “business management/Operations experience” to Restore, but his life experience from 18 years of playing hockey.


In 2010, founder of the Pond Hockey Classic, Scott Crowder, joined Spengler and Restore as the Executive Director. Crowder is no stranger to hockey either. As former University of Massachusetts-Amherst player and the son of former professional hockey player and college coach Bruce Crowder. Crowder has made an immediate impact since joining Restore. With his experience of establishing one of the largest pond hockey tournaments in America and his “Bringing Hockey Back to the Basics” attitude, he has helped Restore into becoming a household name.


Restore has spread the game and their word around the New England area, but they’re always looking for volunteers in other areas. Restore team member, Samantha Smith recently moved to Chicago for business. With Smith in the Chicago area, she is looking for local volunteers (psst...Blackhawks) and local events to help bring in more donations. With the spreading of Restore and more donations, they will be able to grow as an organization.


Now you're probably wondering how you can help.


Restore Hockey is based on several factors: Access, opportunity and affordability. You could also add clean to the list, too. You can bring these factors to a reality. Instead of having your children’s old equipment stink up your garage or basement, you can donate it to Restore Hockey. Before the equipment is donated to kids, families or organizations, it is cleaned and repaired. Once the equipment is fully restored (no pun intended) it is sent off as a chance for a child to fall in love with the great game of hockey.


If you don’t have any extra hockey equipment or it’s still in use, you can help Restore Hockey with a financial donation. With every $150 Restore buys a new equipment starter pack and then it’s donated to a child. Depending on the size of the equipment, Restore is open to helping all ages.


Not only is Restore giving you the chance to be a good citizen, but a fashionable one too. You don't need to be from the New England area or Chicago to rock these unique bracelets made out of genuine hockey laces. Restore gives you the opportunity to order their Restore Lace Bracelet on their website here. It's your chance to be the cool kid on the block, while supporting a good cause. All proceeds go to the support of their mission.


Donating equipment to children isn’t Restore’s only cause. They recently have partnered up with NHL Green. They collected used equipment at the 2012 Winter Classic in Philadelphia.


"Our ultimate goal is to keep equipment out of basements and out of landfills. All gear collected in Philadelphia will be returned back to the ice, right where it belongs,” Scott Crowder told NHL.com.


Other companies Restore has teamed up with include Boston Bruins Foundation, The Pond Hockey Classic, Hockey East, Sports-Wash, Earthtec, FMC Arenas, Backyard Hockey, Cullen Wealth Management Group, Bentley University Hockey, Pure Hockey, Backyard Ice and Global Hockey Loop.


Restore recently had a fund raising gala on February 3 for the opening day of the New England Pond Hockey Classic. The guest of honor was a shiny silver cup, Lord Stanley. You can see their upcoming event schedule on their website: Restorehockey.org.


Keep an eye out for upcoming events in Chicago on their website and right here! And don't forget to keep these things in mind: skates, helmets, sticks, gloves, pads... as well as donations, donations, donations...


If you want to help, you can email Samantha Smith at ssmith@restorehockey.org.


If you do have equipment, you can email info@restorehockey.org.


Twitter: @restorehockey

Facebook: Restore Hockey

Website: Restorehockey.org


(photo source)

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