Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Brad Bombardir

Jalin, Sierra, and Preston earned a very special experience at a recent Minnesota Wild game. Jalin was the winner of the John Foley Excellence in Servant Leadership award and the others were the Hockey in the Hood Cup winners for Academic Excellence. As a reward Brad Bombardir, Director of Community Partnerships and former player for the Minnesota Wild, rewarde the winners with a special Behind the Scenes tour of the Xcel Energy Center before a Wild home game. A very special Thanks to Brad and all the special people at the Minnesota Wild that make us feel so important. The experience was amazing! The kids were grateful and learned a lot.

Below are some of the highlights from our trip.

Preston and Sierra pet a Bhrama Bull in the lobby before the game. The Bull was there to advertise for an upcoming Rodeo. It was an unexpected way to begin our journey.

Brad took us down to ice level through the players' entrance. We saw the Zamboni Machines up close. It really is fascinating how they work.

We met the game officials. These guys travel . . . A LOT! After that we watched warm-ups from the ice level (Picture at top).

Brad took us up to the Press Box where we met Tom Reid, former North Star and WCCO Radio Play by Play announcer. We also got to go on the FOX Stage and say the "Let's Play Hockey Cheer" with Brad.

Next we went to the control room. This is where everything from the scoreboard to the horn to the cameras are controlled. It was really mind blowing how much stuff happens during a game. The kids learned a lot in here. The began to understand that "Hockey Player" is not the only sports career.

We got to watch the team take the ice from right outside the locker room. One of the players said to Brad, "I'm going to go CHEESEY." Later we asked Brad what he meant. Brad explained that "Cheese" is a French Canadian slang term for shooting the puck in the upper part of the net. Finally we got to watch the game. We were shouting "CHEESE" every time the Wild got a chance to shoot. The Wild won 5-2. Most of all it was a win for three kids who have worked hard to serve others and do well in school!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

DinoMights Communicate with the White House

We say time and time again here at DinoMights that we are much more than a hockey team. We do our best to give our kids knowledge and experiences that they will be able to carry into adulthood. Last summer at Power Camp (our week long academic camp) we wanted to teach the kids that they have a voice, and that their voice has power. After spending a week learning about the environment and our responsibility to care for it, DinoMight students were asked to write a letter to the president of the United States, sharing with him what they had learned and asking him to make their concerns a priority. One little boy proudly read his letter in front of the whole group. Since then, almost six months have passed and our students have probably forgotten about their letters to the president recently. They will be reminded soon though because a response letter from the White House was just delivered to the DinoMight office! We are excited to share with the kids that someone read their letters. For a little kid to imagine a letter that they wrote being read at the White house has to be an incredible feeling. We hope that these sort of activities will encourage our students to have a political voice in the world. No matter which party or elected official they choose to support, we hope that they will use their vote to empower their communities and to be advocates for justice. People in the neighborhoods we serve are often underrepresented in elections and other political activities and we hope that our youth will be catalysts in eliminating that disparity. We believe that our students have important things to say and do our best to let their voices be heard!