Thanks to everyone who supported our 9 Mighty Penguins raising over $4000!
As part of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, our players chose to “Run for a Reason” selecting Hockey Sticks Together. It is a foundation that was set up with a partnership of the Penguins Foundation and supports all special hockey programs including our sled hockey team. All the funds raised by our players were directly given to the Mighty Penguins. We plan to do it again next year!
Our Mighty Penguins hosted the Pittsburgh Therapist Challenge where teams from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Positive Steps Therapy and The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh competing for the Lauren’s Legacy CUP! Congratulations to The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh for winning! They are going to proudly bring the CUP home!
The CUP was named in honor of aPhysical Therapist that volunteered with the Mighty Penguins through LEND Pittsburgh. Lauren had an amazing spirit and is dearly missed by her husband, parents, family, friends, co-workers and patients. We were honored to have Lauren’s mom and cousin in the stands to cheer on the players. Lauren will always be a special part of the Mighty Penguins. https://www.crowdrise.com/…/laurens-legacy-g…/mightypenguins
On February 17, 2018 the Mighty Penguins Intermedaite team faced off against the Pittsburgh Police Department. This event was in honor of Martin Joyce, a retired police officer that recently passed away. Officer Joyce had two grandchildren that play for the Mighty Penguins, and the family felt what a better way to honor their Grandfatherthan to raise money for the Mighty Penguins organization in his honor.
The Pittsburgh Police Officers arrived ready to play but soon realized playing hockey in sleds is harder than it looks. The officers enjoyed playing so much, they would love to do it again next year. In total, we raised over $1200 for the Mighty Penguins. Thank you, Pittsburgh Police for taking the time to help our teams!
The Mighty Penguins hosted our first ever Girls Only event on the ice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex! We had new players, current players, girl scouts and Chatham University Women’s Ice Hockey team. The Mighty Penguins wanted to follow the World Girls Hockey Weekend initiative and try it our way….on sleds!
- Introduce girls and women to basic ice hockey skills in a positive, fun and safe environment.
- Inform females about ice hockey opportunities in their community.
- Educate participants about fair play, sportsmanship and teamwork.
- Celebrate female ice hockey, introduce participants to new friends and help them fall in love with the game.
We did all of the above and more! Kelsey DiClaudio, Mighty Penguin and Team USA Women’s player spoke to the participants to share her story and passion for hockey. The Chatham University Women’s Ice Hockey team led the on-ice portion on skates and the players also tried out our sleds, too. Everyone enjoyed learning more about the sport of sled hockey. We are excited to add more girls and women to our rosters! #GirlsRule
The Mighty Penguins hosted 16 team in the 2017 Penguins Sled Face-Off in 3 divisions. There were about 200 players on the ice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex & RMU Island Sports Center. All players received a Penguins backpack with give aways from the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. DICK’S Sporting Goods & UPMC Rehabilitation were our Stanley Cup Sponsors. The Intermediate Adult Division had teams from Pittsburgh,Johnstown, Tampa Bay, Texas & Buffalo. Each team was guaranteed at least 4 games. The team from Texas came out on top.
The Junior Division (Youth under 18 yrs) was our largest division with 7 teams from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, North West Ohio, Cincinnati, Nashville, Grand Rapids and Buffalo. The teams were close with a tie breaker determining the teams to play in the Championship Game. The Philadelphia Hammerheads finished first.
The Mighty Penguins are the first to offer a Novice division. We wanted to give our new developing players a chance to touch the puck more and play in an exciting half ice format following the ADM guidelines in USA Hockey. This year four teams entered and the Mighty Penguins had two of them. We have a growing team of new players of which many including our goalies were playing in their first game. The Championship Game ended in the longest shootout of the weekend! The goalies were outstanding and kept their teams in the game through 10+ shooters! Congratulations to all teams!
Mighty Penguin, Kelsey DiClaudio, has been chosen to be on the USA Women’s National Sled Team for the 2017-2018 season. She will be competing in tournaments and events throughout the year while enrolled in college and competing on the Mighty Penguins Senior Team. To see the complete roster, click below.
Congratulations to Mighty Penguins, Dan & Harrison!
USA Hockey announced the 17-player roster for the 2017-18 U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team, which will compete in various national and international events as well as train with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team during the 2017-18 season.
The Mighty Penguins Organization, nominated by Kyle Burgess, won the Jefferson Award for Public Service Team of 2016. Each organization nominated shared their stories of what a volunteer can do to bring positive influences to so many worthy causes. The Mighty Penguin Board Members accepting the award were touched, moved and informed of organizations making a difference every day in our hometown of Pittsburgh.
We thank the Post-Gazette, BNY Mellon and Highmark for sponsoring the award and ceremony at the Heinz History Center.
Read the full story:
More about the Jefferson Award:
Named for Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the Jefferson Awards’ central tenet is that each and every citizen shares a responsibility to work toward the betterment of their communities through economic participation, public service, volunteerism and other such efforts to improve life for all. Today, the mission of the Jefferson Awards is to recognize, inspire and activate volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America. To date, more than 50,000 individuals, including many prominent Americans, have been recognized by the Jefferson Awards for their efforts to make the world a better place. For more information, visit www.jeffersonawards.org.
CRANBERRY TWP., PA – (JUNE 1, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Mighty Penguins are proud to announce that it has received a $5,400 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The award was one of 102 grants totaling $721,425 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers. Conceived by the late Dana Reeve, the program has awarded over 2,900 grants totaling over $20 million since 1999. Funding for the grants is made available through the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) operated by the Reeve Foundation under a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey operates therapeutic and competitive ice hockey programs for the benefit of physically disabled individuals in Pennsylvania and adjacent areas. With the grant, the Mighty Penguins purchased eight new hockey sleds, of which three were specialty sleds with extra support, and eight sets of hockey sticks. The additional hockey sleds and sticks have given the organization the ability to serve even more children and adults with disabilities.
The grants awarded in the second cycle of 2016 were distributed among a wide variety of categories, including recreation, sports and leisure, advocacy, equipment and other independent living-related services. A significant number of projects focus on community re-integration initiatives such as assistive technology programs, home accessibility modifications, accessible transportation, and accessible playgrounds that create more community opportunities for those living with paralysis and their families.
“It’s important to find balance while filling the needs of the community, especially those living in underserved areas,” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “People may live only a few blocks from an outstanding adaptive recreation program, but if they don’t have a ramp to get out of their homes or accessible transportation to get to that location, they can’t participate in the activity, and we really aren’t meeting the overall goal of this program. That’s why we examine every proposed project to see the impact it will have in the community, and try to determine how we can best help them reach their full potential.”
About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide “Today’s Care” and to strive for “Tomorrow’s Cure” and offers a free, comprehensive, national source of informational support for individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.
About the Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey
In 1998, volunteers from Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Erie introduced the sport of sled hockey to Pittsburgh and the Mighty Penguins were born! Initially the goal was to provide children and young adults with physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in a competitive sport. The parents and guardians of these players have seen firsthand the physical and emotional benefits of the program. Many local organizations have helped our program by donating ice time, equipment, customized hockey gear and insurance. Individuals throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area volunteer their time and talents to educate and assist our players.
Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey
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(973) 379-2690 ext. 7123
By Abby (age 17)
Over the weekend, a handful of our Junior team and their families traveled to London, Ontario for a very exciting weekend. The players were: Alex Brown, Darrion Allensworth, James Humphreys, Abby McCormick, Danny Shanholtzer, Ellie Shanholtzer, Dominic Tarquinio, AJ Vazquez, and Brea Vazquez. I had midterm exams that morning so my family and I drove up Friday afternoon and unfortunately missed the first game at 4:45 p.m. against the Ohio Arctic Wolves. The rest of the team worked extremely hard and won with a final score of 6-1! Goals were made by Alex Brown, Darrion Allensworth, James Humphreys, Danny Shanholtzer, and Ellie Shanholtzer. Our second game took place on Saturday morning at 10:15 and was another huge success! We defeated the Buffalo Sabres with a score of 7-0! There was a lot of great teamwork shown during this game and a lot of great saves by our goalie AJ Vasquez and I even scored my first tournament goal! This has definitely been the highlight of my first two years playing sled hockey. The third game was against the Hamilton Sledgehammers at 4:30 p.m. We won again with the final score being 5-0. Darrion, Alex and James scored during this game. We were all ecstatic to be undefeated and make it into the Semi-Finals the next morning! It was quite a different feeling from last year when we didn’t win any games at this tournament. To celebrate our success, we all went to dinner at a restaurant called Shoeless Joe’s and had a lot of fun together. Unfortunately, we lost in the Semi-Finals to the Durham Steelhawks. It was a very close game ending with 4-3. We went home with 3rd place out of 8. Overall, we had an awesome tournament with a lot of incredible teamwork and scored a total of 21 goals throughout the weekend. Everyone played a huge part in our success throughout the weekend. We also could never do this without the help of our awesome coaches! This was definitely one of my favorite tournaments yet.