Monday, June 28, 2010

Congratulations to Coach Jeremiah!

Jeremiah was a DinoMights coach for 4 years. During that time he was a helpful servant and mentor to many kids. Today we're happy to share with the DinoMights family that Jeremiah and his wife Mandy have adopted a daughter named Gabby.

Mandy and Jeremiah with their new daughter, Gabby

We know Coach Jeremiah will be a great dad. He was already sharing his parenting skills as a Dino Coach with us, and now we are sure that Gabby will have a great family!

If you want to give a shout out to Jeremiah, or say how he showed his parenting to you (or your children), feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hockey In the Hood Camp: Why I love these images (Part 3)


The reason I entitled this image, "Smells," is because that is the very first thing that pops into my mind when I look at this image.

Here's what you see: 8 brand new DinoMights about to ride home in the DinoMights van (There are 8, one is tucked way back and you can't really see him in the picture). You see smiles. You see seatbelts (That's very important in the DinoMights van). And you see Hockey bags piled up in the back of the van.

You see the joy of kids that have just enjoyed a new sport for the first time. They are mostly Latino in this case and they have no idea that Latinos have not traditionally played this sport. They also have no idea that there are like 2 professional Latino Hockey players. They don't care. Bottom line: They are kids who have had fun playing.

You see kids about to laugh and enjoy the van. The van is actually part of the fun. We tell jokes, try tongue twisters, and tell funny stories. The kids don't seem to mind that it takes a little extra time to stop at every kid's house. In fact, they usually don't want to be the first one out. It's fun to be together whether it is on the ice, in the hot summer, or riding home in the van.

What you don't see is . . .

How stinky those hockey bags are!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hockey In the Hood Camp: Why I love these images (Part 2)


I'm entitling this post: Connections. It's the first thing that came to my mind related to the above image. That is Old School DinoMights Coach, Cody, tying the skates of brand new DinoMights participant, Javon.

I don't think I know anyone more connected than Cody. He hasn't been a Dino coach for about 6 years, but he is still very connected. In fact, this last week we added a whole host of new connections for Cody.

This is current Coach, Mike. He is an Urban Neighbor living in an Urban Homeworks home. Cody is the Community Development Director for Urban Homeworks. So Cody is constantly hooking DinoMights up with new coaches, like Mike. There is no contest. The person who has single handedly connected DinoMights with the most volunteers is Cody.

In fact, Cody connected me to DinoMights 10 years ago.

In fact, Cody connected my wife to DinoMights 10 years ago.

In fact, that's how I met my wife. So you could say that Cody connected me and my wife!

So it is really meaningful to me to have Cody come and tie some skates at Hockey in the Hood Camp. I thought it was pretty cool when one of the new girls told me that she baby sits for Cody's son and daughter.

But, that wasn't the end of the connections. One of the students that Cody mentored over the years was a boy named Jesse. One of the brand new students we added this year is Jesse's little cousin, Javon. The same boy, whose skates are being tied by Cody in the above picture!

Quite a connection.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hockey In the Hood Camp: Why I love these images (Part 1)

Last week we completed our biggest Hockey in the Hood Camp ever! We had 26 brand new hockey players on the ice. That is our biggest group of new students ever.

There are a lot of wonderful and lasting images in my head from the week. I'd like to share them with you over the next few days, and explain what the images mean to me. Please feel free to leave a comment if you are touched by any of these pictures and stories.

This is a picture of Salma and Charlin hugging on the ice. If you could browse our pictures, you'd find at least a dozen pictures of these two friends hugging. One of the most meaningful things about our Girls team is the close relationships they form.

One girl, named Emily, moved last spring. She has been very concerned that she might not get to be a part of DinoMights anymore. She was able to come to Hockey in the Hood Camp. When she saw Charlin in the parking lot they hugged and cried, because they were so happy to see each other. That is an image that will stick in my mind for a while.

One thing we are very excited to report is the number of new girls in the program. DinoMights has had girls teams for a long time, but we are really making a push to improve our girls teams this year. We added 17 new girls this spring. I'm really looking forward to seeing them enjoy a lot of hugs over the next few years!

Thursday, June 10, 2010



• All DinoMights fans will be interested to know that the car wash raised $700. The kids washed seven cars in the rain for an average of $100 per vehicle.

• DinoMights has broken the record for most new DinoMights. We are up to 23 and counting! That breaks last year's record of 20.

Stay tuned for news from Hockey in the Hood Camp next week!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Washing in the Rain

It rained the whole time . . .

They didn't wash that many cars . . .

But they worked hard . . .

And asked everyone they saw to help them go to camp . . .

In the end they raised $600! I'm very proud of our campers. They really took ownership of the trip they are going to enjoy in a few weeks. They weren't ashamed to work hard for something important. Thanks to those of you that helped out.

* By the way it's not too late to help support the cause. We've raised $5,500 specifically for camp this year, which is GREAT! The whole summer budget, not including salaries and administration costs, is about $15,000. Anything helps. Who knows maybe someone out there is so inspired by kids who will wash cars in the rain, that they would like to give a big gift to ensure that the DinoMights summer is fully funded.

Car Wash for Camp

UPDATE: A donor has agreed to match the first $250 raised in the car wash! Please come out or make a gift to the car wash to help raise funds for KAA and help us earn the full match.


Today 18 DinoMights who are planning to attend Kids Across America Camp in Southern Missouri are holding a Car Wash Fundraiser. The kids are very excited, both for camp and for their own efforts at raising funds towards their camp tuition. There are a few ways that you can help us out.

The wash will be held at:

Minikada Mobil Station
at the intersection of Excelsior and France Ave.
3500 France Ave
St. Louis Park
10 AM- 4 PM

The kids are hoping to raise an average of $10 per car and they are hoping to wash 50 cars for a total of about $500. However, with poor weather predicted, they may really need the help of people that really love DinoMights and don't need their cars washed that badly.
You don't even have to come to the car wash to make a gift to camp.

• You can visit the DinoMights webpage or use the paypal tab below and make an online gift. Gifts don't have to be big to help with this effort. Give whatever you would give it you actually came to the car wash. Anything can encourage the kids. Of Course, if you are interested in making a large donation the per kid cost of Kids Across America is about $300, and we are bringing 18 total students.

• You can visit the DinoMights website and sponsor a particular student who is attending camp.

• You can pledge a small amount per car that the kids wash
Write me back with a pledge. If you pledged $1 per car washed and we washed 50 cars, then it would end up being a $50 gift.
It will be a real encouragement to the kids to know that some people are already behind their efforts.


Thanks so much for your time reading this message and for your support of DinoMights