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Fox Chapel hockey game benefits Sandy Hook support fund

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 8:59 p.m.
The Herald
The Fox Chapel Hockey Jr. Varsity team has fun during their yearbook photos on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Seniors Connor Regan, left, and Ethan Schollaert will be playing for the Fox Chapel Hockey Club in a game to benefit the Sandy Hook Elementary School Support Fund.

Organizers of a charity hockey game next week hope the absence of the puck in Pittsburgh so far this season will attract a packed crowd.

That the proceeds benefit the Sandy Hook Elementary School Support Fund should up the ante, said Fox Chapel Hockey Club Secretary Lisa Schmidtetter.

“The enthusiasm for this cause is overwhelming,” she said. “These boys are so motivated to go out there and raise money.”

Sandy Hook Elementary School was the site of the Dec. 14 rampage where a gunman shot 20 students and six staff members. It is located in Newtown, Conn.

Money raised from the charity hockey game will be funneled into a United Way fund to provide services to the families affected.

Varsity and alumni of the Fox Chapel club will hit the ice against the Pittsburgh Police Icemen at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at Bladerunners in Harmar.

Tickets cost $5 for adults and will be sold at the door. Students and children will be admitted free. Bladerunners seats about 1,800.

Schmidtetter said there is a local angle to the benefit, too. At the game, volunteers will collect new stuffed animals for the Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services to distribute to children in crisis.

Team members had been hoping to plan a charity game for some time. Community service is part and parcel with being on the team, she said.

“We weren't sure who we wanted to play for but then this tragedy happened we knew,” she said. “It was a school and we're a school hockey team. It really speaks to our kids of something they would want to help with.”

With 16 high school players and five alumni, the Fox Chapel club will take on the Pittsburgh Icemen, a team founded in 1998, to represent a leadership role in community development by showing teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Through team fundraisers and benefit games, members of the Icemen aim to increase camaraderie between Pittsburgh's emergency services as well.

Schmidtetter said the response from the Lower Valley communities has already been overwhelming.

“Everyone has been very supportive and we're hoping they come out to the game,” she said. “We want everyone to remember a stuffed animal to donate too, to make it a benefit for the local community and the larger events in Connecticut.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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