January marked another big step forward for the Indy Twisters as it began offering more ice time each week. The recent burst in growth of the program presented challenges, but now we can serve the beginning skaters and less advanced players more effectively using our full staff, while the more experience players get the full benefit of the open ice.
On Thanksgiving this year the local men’s league skaters held multiple skates for fun and for fundraising. The guys of Afterburner hockey held a skate at the Fishers Forum at 9:30am on Thanksgiving day. That morning 22 players hit the ice for the Turkey Cup. A little beer was drank, a few goals were scored and some money was raised. On the day after the Left Over Cup was played including Coach Francois (Twisters Head Coach) and myself. Coach Francois was on the Pilgrims and I was on the Indians. That day the Indians were victorious contrary to history. Those skates raised $880.00 for the Indy Twisters Special Hockey program while playing the game we all love.
On the same day the Turkey cup was being played the Turkey Bowl was being played at the Carmel Ice Skadium. Mr. Tom Wagner organizes this skate and it has grown into a true spectacle! The individuals that are a part of this skate salivate and wait for this one day as the festivities begin early and all go home winners no matter who wins. On rink #2 they also have another game played at the same time called the Kids Table. The fundraising has taken a turn for the surreal in that they over indulge in great raffle items to raise money for us. An Adirondack chair made of hockey sticks was the crowning glory of the raffle (at least that’s how I see it). They had Pacer tickets, booze galore, free one full year of wings at BW3 and pucks with the logo of the Turkey Bowl on them.
This year in the Bowl team Canada defeated the USA to hoist the cup for the first time in four years.
Turkey Bowl 2014 Teams Canada and USA
The total that they raised was crushed as they had some folks who’s giving spirit was way beyond our wildest dreams! They raised around $4,500.00 for our program. That’s something to give thanks for. In all the years of working with our group and raising funds this, I believe will go down as the most bang for the fun of raising it. Mr. Wagner is a very humble individual but needs to be singled out as the catalyst for this days festivities and the individual who sends the money our way. His spirit has caught all the guys who skate in this in it’s wake. This year the bar was set very high in the local hockey community for having a big heart for our program and we cannot express enough gratitude to these gentlemen. Let us also add in that there were wives and girlfriends who cooked and helped behind the scenes to make all this come together and we owe them the same debt of gratitude. If you ever wondered how the Indy Twisters has grown to the size we are and still cover the cost to keep it free for our athletes you need look no further than the local rinks and the men that play on them. As I have mentioned before the Indy recreational hockey community is second to none in taking it on themselves to further our cause. Hopefully all of them feel a sense of pride in knowing that there are over 60 special needs kids on the ice, in good equipment with it all covered due to their big hearts. We read and hear so many depressing things in the media today and it is great to be able to write about something that is truly exceptional in the way of doing good in our community.
A big thank you goes out to all who played, donated and sponsored these skates and a huge thank you to John Mackasey, Carmel Ice Skadium, the Fishers Forum and Tom Wagner! Hope you all have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you on the ice,
The Indy Twisters have a new dawn arising! As of the third week of skating there are 52 players registered with ASHA and USA Hockey to the Indy Special Hockey Association. That is easily the highest number we have had at this time of the season by at least 15 players! The new players have seen an influx of younger skaters and a cross section of male and female skaters. The varied ages are as wide as the numbers.
With a lot of help coach Francois Hurtubise has his work cut out for him. The number of new skaters has tripled and the amount of one on one help needed has grown with it! To round out all our needs we have had a huge boost with the help of some younger coaches. Reece Tofaute, Marlie Tofaute and Grant Detamore are all middle schoolers that are there weekly to help their friends and our skaters learn to skate! Some of the newer parents have seen the help these kids have given and have commented on them. “Those teen helpers are just so amazing and attentive. They are really great peers for my son.” Parent Todd Root commented.
The infusion of new blood means more equipment is needed and that means funds! If you know someone who may need a tax write off or just has a soft spot for children on the spectrum please direct them to our web site or invite them out to our practice. Let the smiles of our kids become contagious to them as they are to us!
See you on the ice!
Hello, Twisters and Twister fans. We are having our first ever organized fundraiser Sunday, September 21st! It’s a Skate-a-thon at the Arctic Zone in Westfield. The twisters and their families will be out looking to fill their sheets with donations before the event, while our Twister fans can come out for a night of fun and skate with us in exchange for a $10 donation. If you can’t join us then, see the link below to donate directly to the Twisters. Check out the flyer for all the details. Hope to see you all there!
Back in the fall the Twisters got an email inviting us to attend a special needs hockey festival being put together by a high school student. That’s right, a high school student. How many festivals did you put on during your high school days ? A few of the Twisters had already attended special hockey events by joining other teams, so we knew how special these events are to the skaters as well as the families involved. At that time the Twisters had never traveled and played together as a team. It had been a goal of the Twister coaches since the beginning. Check out the video and pics below to see what it was like.
The Indy Twisters had a fabulous time skating between periods at the January 3rd, Indiana Ice game against Cedar Rapids. The Banker’s Life home crowd was great. They stayed in their seats and cheered the skaters on for the five minutes our kids were on the ice. The time on the clock went by quick but hopefully the memories will last a lifetime.
A big thank you goes out to the Indiana Ice organization for providing the Twister kids this opportunity. The Twisters organization was also named the “Chuck the Puck” beneficiary that same night, where fans can buy pucks and then toss them to a target on center ice between periods for cash and prizes. The best part is the Twisters get half the money. Thank you Indiana Ice and fans!
Coming up Saturday, March 1st, we have another fundraising opportunity with the Indiana Ice. It’s called Pack the House night. It’s where fans or companies can buy tickets and half the ticket cost will be donated to Twisters. Contact us for more information on how it all works.
The kids are excited and have put forth an impressive effort in the first few skates according to Coach Francois. “We seem to have a greater focus right now” is how he described our group after an October skate. We have most of our kids registered for the season and they all are excited of the possibility of games on the horizon.
For a welcome surprise some of the boys from the Lawrence varsity hockey team came out to volunteer at on of our practices in October. The impact was felt from both sides. The kids look up to these players coming from a high school team that are interested in giving some of their time to help them. The players from Lawrence get a firsthand look at the fact the Kids in The Indy Twisters organization are players just like them with a desire to get better and help each other. One player told me “these kids listen better than most non-special needs kids we have helped!” That is a testament to the coaching staff of the Twisters organization and the enthusiasm of our players for the game. For a first in our existence we will be playing a tournament this season being held at Culver Military School in Culver Indiana in the beginning of March 2014. Once again we will also be skating between periods at an Indiana Ice game at Bankers Life Field House January 3rd. With a few games scheduled between the Twisters and another team from Fishers we have an exciting season set to happen into 2014! As always we have to thank all our donors and we will keep you informed if any additions to our schedule happen.
Until next time, see you on the ice!
Check out the December issue of the Autism Companion. One of our skaters, along with the Twisters, is featured on page 22.
The Twisters love making a difference. Awesome job, Carter!