At this weekend's fifth annual Summit Hockey Classic, hockey celebrities and local players will take to the ice to raise money for Summit Youth Hockey, a local nonprofit giving youth the opportunity to play recreationally and competitively.
The tournament starts Friday evening, with four teams Vail Summit Orthopaedics, PeakOne Surgery Center, Copper Mountain Resort and Beaver Run Resort - facing off in two games. Each team consists of "the best hockey players in Summit," according to Summit Youth boardmember Dick Carleton, and two celebrities. This year, National Hockey League's Pierre Turgeon and Western States Hockey League coach Brent Cullaton will join returning division I and NHL celebrities Ken Klee, Trevor Pochipinski, Peter Geronazzo, Nick Larson, Rick Boh and Stewart Bodtker.
The group hopes to raise $25,000 to offset Summit Youth Hockey player fees. Because of its fundraising, the Summit County program is about half the cost of what Denver programs charge, Carleton said.
"As an organization, Summit Hockey is dedicated to providing opportunities for all kids in Summit County to participate in hockey," said Brad Dickerson, nonprofit president. "In order to do so, fundraising is a key ingredient to the success of the organization. We fundraise so that registration fees can stay affordable for all families in addition to providing scholarship opportunities for families in need ... we want hockey to be available to anyone who wants to play."
A "puck huck" competition will take place each evening. All spectators will receive a puck upon entry that will be tossed onto the ice during an intermission. During other breaks, the organization's youngest players - 6 and under - will play, and a few will be recognized. A "celebrity shootout" will take place Saturday between the consolation and championship games.
There will also be a silent auction held in the lobby outside the rink both evenings, featuring hockey sticks signed by Colorado Avalanche player Matt Duchene, and restaurant certificates, among other goodies. Beer and wine will be available.
"We're very fortunate that the local community supports youth hockey," Carleton said.