FRASER, Mich. – The Metro Jets continue to show their commitment to supporting local community outreach with a new partnership with the MORC Stars disabled hockey program.
The MORC Stars hockey team was formed in 2007 as a partnership between Macomb-Oakland Regional Center (MORC) and former professional hockey player Peter Ciavaglia, who some from Michigan may remember from his time playing pro hockey with the Detroit Vipers.
Ciavaglia, who also played for the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and the 1994 U.S. Olympic Team, decided it was time to use his hockey talent to assist people with disabilities. He approached MORC, the non-profit human service agency that supports over 4000 people with developmental disabilities in Macomb and Oakland County, and the rest, they say, is history.
On Sunday, March 6, prior to the Jets hosting the Southern Tier Xpress at 1 p.m. at Fraser Hockeyland, the MORC Stars will be running a skate-a-thon fundraiser and will be part of a ceremonial puck drop before the Jets-Xpress contest.
The link to donate – https://secure.ministrysync.com/ministrysync/event/?e=11165
Anyone can participate in the skate-a-thon, but the MORC Stars ask that they obtain a minimum of $100 in pledges. If people don't want to participate, but would like to support the players, they can click on the same link and select "Give" and it will bring up the players who have registered.
“Our coaches are all volunteers and have been around for years – they just love these athletes,” said Tracy Horton from the MORC Stars. “Our goal right from the start was to provide the hockey experience to our players at little to no cost and we've been very fortunate to be able to meet our goal each year through fundraising. We provide ice time, equipment, uniforms and subsidize tournament costs.”
“When we had the opportunity to get involved with the MORC Stars team, it was an easy decision,” added Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville. “We wanted to partner specifically for this event so we can highlight the athletes prior to our game and participate in the continued efforts to grow their fundraiser. The Jets organization values local outreach organizations that raise money for a cause and we are excited to help out in any way possible.”
The MORC Stars and the 501(c)3 charity “Skate To Be Great” exist for the enrichment of athletes with developmental disabilities. In addition to teaching the physical skills of ice hockey, the program strives to develop individual characteristics such as dependability, self-reliance, confidence, concentration, willingness to share and personal accountability. Males and females of all ages are welcome.
The organization started in 2007 with seven players and now has more than 100 players – all with special needs. The players range in age from six to 45 years old and the program runs five practice groups each Sunday.
For more information, visit the official MORC Stars website at www.morcstars.com.