Some of the youngest athletes had their “goals and dreams” realized as they teamed with the National Hockey League Players' Association to form one of Westchester's newest sports teams.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced that the newly formed Yonkers Force Youth Hockey team has received a donation of 25 brand new sets of hockey equipment from the NHL Players’ Association’s Goals and Dreams fund.
According to Spano, the Yonkers Force Youth Hockey is a learn-to-play program which will be administered and coached by Yonkers Police Officers. The program will be open to boys and girls ages 7 through 9 years old. To qualify for enrollment in the program, the prospective player must qualify for free lunch at school.
"We are grateful to the NHLPA for their generosity and commitment in supporting Yonkers youth through the game of hockey," Spano stated. "Thanks to the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund and members of our Yonkers Police who are volunteering their time, our children can reap the rewards of sports including teamwork, self-confidence and active and healthy lifestyles. I look forward to seeing Yonkers Force lacing up and hitting the ice very soon.”
Officials said that “in 1999, the NHLPA launched the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. The players’ program has donated full sets of hockey equipment that has benefited more than 70,000 economically challenged children in 34 countries and assisted with upgrades and the building of hundreds of arenas worldwide. To date, NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $24-million to grassroots hockey programs around the world making it the largest program of its kind.”
"The Yonkers Police Department recognizes the value of our relationship with the community we serve, and are excited to be part of this new youth sports program thanks to the benevolence of the NHLPA," Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner added. "I would also like to thank our Police Officers who are giving their time to teach the great game of hockey. Programs like this build confidence, teamwork and foster relationships between our youth and officers, which is the foundation of our community policing philosophy.”
In a statement, Devin Smith, the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Chairman said that “NHL players are proud to contribute 25 sets of hockey equipment to the Yonkers Force Youth Hockey team. “The city of Yonkers and Yonkers police officers have put together a great program, and we are happy to be a part of helping more local children play hockey.”
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