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Willie O'Ree To Take Part In Hockey Is For Everyone Initiative

Tuesday, 01.25.2011 / 3:12 PM ET / News
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Willie O\'Ree To Take Part In Hockey Is For Everyone Initiative
BOSTON, MA - On Wednesday, January 26, Willie O'Ree, the first black person to play in the NHL and former Boston Bruin will be taking part in a variety of "Hockey Is For Everyone" activities. To start the day, O'Ree will be dropping off street hockey equipment at the Community Charter School of Cambridge (245 Bent St., Cambridge, MA 02141). The drop-off will take place from 10:50 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. where O'Ree will be speaking with 50 students currently attending the school.

Following the equipment drop off, O'Ree will head to the Winn Brook School in Belmont (Winn Brook School, 978 Waterhouse St., Belmont, MA 02478) from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. where he will host practice for the members of Belmont’s Special Olympics hockey team and take part in a ceremonial puck drop at the start of the team’s scrimmage.

O'Ree will also drop the ceremonial first puck with SCORE Boston youth hockey players 11-year-old Ezekiel Santiago of Dorchester, MA and 9-year-old Kevin Swan of Hyde Park, MA, prior to the Bruins/Panthers game at beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The equipment donation and Special Olympics hockey clinic are part of a number of activities taking place throughout the month of February through the NHL's "Hockey is for Everyone" initiative. Throughout the month of February, Hockey is for Everyone provides support and unique programming to non-profit youth hockey organizations across North America that are committed to offering children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey.

O'Ree is currently the National Hockey League's Director of Youth Development and ambassador for NHL Diversity, a post he has held since January 1998. As Director of Youth Development, O’Ree has helped the NHL Diversity program expose more than 40,000 boys and girls of diverse backgrounds to unique hockey experiences.  Over the past decade, O'Ree has traveled thousands of miles across North America helping to establish 39 local grassroots hockey programs, all geared towards serving economically disadvantaged youth.  While advocating strongly that "Hockey is for Everyone," O'Ree stresses the importance of essential life skills, education, and the core values of hockey, which are: commitment, perseverance, and teamwork.

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