Friday, October 29, 2010

Fundraiser Sponsors: NHL

We are very thankful for this year's Annual Fundraiser Major Sponsor, The National Hockey League (NHL).
DinoMights has been an affiliate the NHL Hockey is for Everyone Initiative since 1996. Hockey is for Everyone provides support and unique programming to non-profit youth hockey organizations across North America, such as DinoMights, that are committed to offering children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey. The initiative is supported by NHL member clubs, players, NHL alumni, and fans. To date, Hockey is for Everyone has exposed close to 45,000 boys and girls to unique hockey experiences.

To celebrate this initiative, the National Hockey League hosts the annual Hockey is for Everyone Month in February. The league-wide initiative includes numerous activities to promote the diversity of the game that involve our clubs, players, alumni, fans, and grass-roots diversity programs, all with the goal of raising awareness and celebrating the growth of the game.

To learn more and see links to Hockey is for Everyone Videos please click here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fundraiser Sponsors: Imaging Path

One reason why our Annual Fundraiser will be a success is the generosity of our corporate sponsors. So for the next few days, I'd like to introduce you to some of our sponsors. We really hope you will consider visiting their web sites, and that you will feel good about those organizations' contribution to the community through DinoMights.

This year's Presenting Sponsor is Imaging Path.

As the Presenting Sponsor, Imaging Path ensures that all the proceeds from our event go directly to DinoMights programming. That means that, thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, your gift does not go to pay for room rental or food at the DinoMights event. Instead, whatever you give will go right to things like ice time, books for tutoring, community service projects, or summer camp. So a VERY big thanks to Imaging Path, the 2010 Presenting Sponsor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big EVENT: First Day of Practice

I recently called a new student to let him know that I would be coming to pick him up in the DinoMights van. He was so excited that he hung up on me.

Saturday was the first day of practice for the majority of our students. You really can never lose the joy of seeing wobbly little people just learning to skate. Mix the joy of something new with the excitement that hangs up on a caller in the middle of a phone conversation, and you definitely have a Big Event.

All fall, leading up to this day, we get phone calls in the office,

"When is hockey going to start?"
"Did you get the letter that we sent with a schedule?"
"Uh, I don't know."
"Well we sent you a schedule and hockey will start in three weeks."
"Aww, that long?"
"It will be here before you know it."

"When is hockey going to start?"
"Did you get the letter?"
"Uh, let me check the mail. Oh, here it is."
"O.K., that says when your practice is going to be. Two weeks away."
"Aww, that long?"
"It's really not that far off."

ANOTHER WEEK LATER (I call this time)
"Hello, this is Scott"
"Oh, hi Scott."
"I'm calling to let you know that I will be there to pick you up for hockey tomorrow morning"
"Hockey is tomorrow?!?!?!?!? Hey mom, I got hockey tomorrow, oh I can't wait until" CLICK

Imagine what he felt when he saw the ice, when his coaches said "hello, so glad to see you," when he finally felt the cool breeze against his face as he sailed across the rink.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BIG EVENT: First Day of Tutoring

This might surprise you, but kids love tutoring. If I had to say why the first thing that comes to mind is that their tutors love them. The dinos know that they are going to be loved at tutoring. Each week there is someone who has set aside time to read especially with them. In some cases we have kids with the same tutor for 5, 6, 7 years! Talk about volunteer commitment!

I'd like to think that students like tutoring, because they can see that it helps them. Don't get us wrong, we aren't replacing school. However, just one day per week spent reading and doing homework with a caring committed adult goes a long way in supporting the learning that takes place in school.

DinoMights is super proud to announce that this year we will have two DinoMights high schoolers tutoring young second graders. Sandy and Paola both had their own committed tutors back in the day. Now they are following in those footsteps.

Please say a prayer for DinoMights students and tutors today!

Longtime tutor Leah, with James at graduation 2009.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is not officially about DinoMights, but I just couldn't resist posting it here. She's prepping to be a DinoMight. Hockey and Reading. That's my girl.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Special Guest: Minnesota Wild

Before the Minnesota Wild ever took the ice as an NHL hockey team they sought out worthy causes in the community to support. At that time DinoMights was in its early grassroots phase as well. Two Wild execs came to meet with John Foley, the founder and original director of DinoMights. After a nice lunch and conversation about how the Wild might be involved with DinoMights, the group was driving through the neighborhood back to John's office. There on the street were three boys playing street hockey with sticks that they had formed from temporary no parking signs. John said, "stop the car, I've got to sign these kids up." 12 years later, both that group of kids and the Minnesota Wild are still involved with DinoMights.

The Wild helps out DinoMights in numerous ways, but one is supporting our fundraiser. They always donate autographed items for the silent auction. This year they are donating a pair of game tickets, with a Zamboni ride at the period break! They also come to the event and share in the program.

Brad Bombardir smiles with DinoMights girls at a donated suite for a Wild game

Brad Bombardir, former player and current Director of Community Relations, is a regular presenter at the event. For the las few years he has presented our annual academic and service awards. In addition he has given those award winners a behind the scenes tour of Xcel Center on a game night.

So we are glad to continue a wonderful relationship with the Wild, and glad that they will once again be involved with our fundraiser.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Special Guest: Alyssa Grogan

As the starting goalie for one of the nation's premier hockey universities and for the USA U22 team, Alyssa Grogan has traveled all over the country playing hockey. There is one place that she has traveled that none of her U of M or National Team teammates have been . . . The Basement of the 4-plex!

U of M Gopher goalie, Alyssa Grogan, 2010 fundraiser guest, at the "4-Plex" donating hockey equipment to DinoMights.

And she is still our friend, despite the overwhelming "hockey smell" of our equipment storage.

A few years ago we had a call in the office from a High School senior who wanted to do something for the DinoMights. Alyssa Grogan, one of the top High School goalies in the state, engineered an equipment drive for DinoMights before going on to play for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Alyssa really exemplifies the mission of DinoMights to develop Physical, Academic, Social and Spiritual excellence. She has had a lot of success playing hockey as a college student. She was also the goalie for the USA U22 team that represented out country in Lake Placid New York last summer. She was an academic all conference selection for the WCHA. In addition to all her on ice success, Alyssa has maintained her concern for the community and her dedication to her faith. She also came out to Learn 2 Skate this year along with a few other Gopher players and head coach, Brad Frost. She is also an active member of the U of M Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

One of the DinoMights' big events this year is the unveiling of our newest team: a girls team for 3rd through 5th graders. We believe that it is very important to be giving girls the same opportunities as boys in the sport of hockey. So we are very glad to welcome Alyssa Grogan to tell us of the importance of giving the opportunity of hockey to young girls, and also the importance of developing not just physical excellence, but Academic, Social and Spiritual excellence as well.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Special Guest: Stanley Cup

DinoMights Board member John, wife Cherie, and DinoMights participant, Miguel with the Stanley Cup at the 2009 Fundraiser

We have a returning guest to our Fundraiser this year. The Stanley Cup was so popular we just had to invite it back again.

As a kid I competed for the Cup repeatedly in my basement. I fired tennis balls and plastic floor hockey pucks at my less than willing younger brother. Those series rarely ended in glory. Usually, they ended with my sibling choosing to simply walk off the ice. To be fair to my bro, those contests were mostly fixed in my favor. I just enough older to know how to win every time. At any rate, lifting the Cup after nailing your little brother in the face with a tennis ball really isn't that sweet. But, I did want to taste that sweetness somehow. Being up close to the real thing brings me back to the best part of those days. My imagination for greatness is sparked by the Stanley Cup.

I love to watch the clinching of the Cup every year when it is awarded to the NHL Champions. It doesn't matter to me who wins. Even if my favorite, hometown team loses, I love to watch the very end of the Stanley Cup playoffs. There is just no celebration quite like in hockey. The players raise their hands in the air to signal victory; their sticks and gloves fly in the air, and they go to pile on top of the goalie. (For a hilarious Goalie pile FAIL watch this video about 2/3 of the way through.) I'm pretty sure that's what the angels in heaven were doing when Jesus walked out of the tomb.

I've accepted that my name will never be etched into the Stanley Cup. I can live with that, but visiting with the Stanley Cup reminds me that Teams can achieve great things together.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I'm a very linear thinker. One thing at a time suits my brain best. But October is the month that challenges my brain to keep things straight at DinoMights more than any other.

You see, we are on the verge of a big event. Well to be more clear we are on the verge of several big events . . . many big events.

In just a week, we will start tutoring, then the first hockey practices. We are kicking off some new programming for High School aged students this month. And of course, our big fundraiser event is coming up on Monday November 15.

So here's the challenge: Keep it all straight and be sure to tell the stories.

(Do I really want to do this?) Yes. I'm doing it. I'll post every weekday from now to the fundraiser on the 15th. There's so much on which to keep you updated.

Please stay tuned, and get active with the DinoMights this month!