PHILADELPHIA, PA - In conjunction with The Snider Family, the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association will recognize individuals and corporations who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to amateur hockey in the Delaware Valley past and present with the establishment of The Ed Snider Award for Commitment and Support of Amateur Hockey.
“The recipients of the Ed Snider award will be those who have contributed to the growth and development of the sport of hockey in the Delaware Valley,” announced Glenn Hefferan, President of the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association and USA Hockey Director.
To be eligible the recipients could be either volunteers, paid persons or corporations, who have committed time and efforts to the establishment and growth of programs that have enabled greater participation, support, development and stimulation of interest in the sport of hockey for all ages throughout the Delaware Valley.
“We will be recognizing those real unsung heroes who provided the fundamental building blocks that have led to the advancement of so many amateur hockey participants since 1967, when Ed Snider and others brought the NHL to the Delaware Valley,” added Hefferan. “These will be the coaches, managers, administrators and actual participants who really made a difference.”
Recipients may also be corporations, or businesses, that supported the growth of the sport, enabling participants to have greater opportunities for advancement and achievement.
“Our family is delighted to support and be part of the awards program,” said Lindy Snider, who will represent the Snider Family on the committee. “My brothers, Craig and Jay, both played hockey growing up in Lower Merion, and our father was very committed to youth hockey in the Delaware Valley. Dad started Hockey Central in 1976 along with Aaron Siegel, Jim Shute and Ken Gesner. Jay continued those efforts incorporating Hockey Central into the Flyers organization when he was President of The Flyers. Along the way, many others inside and outside the Flyers organization did so much to stimulate the growth of hockey, it's only fitting that they are recognized as well.”
Over the years Ed Snider’s mission to support the development of youth hockey was brought to life in many ways.
“Nothing was more rewarding than seeing the smiles on the players faces, and hearing the heartfelt comments from their parents, coaches and team leaders as high school hockey and youth hockey teams from the DVHL, The Met League and Atlantic Youth Hockey League took to The Spectrum ice afternoons before Flyers’ games when I was The Spectrum’s Director of Security,” said Bill Whitmore, Board Chairman of Snider Hockey. “Seeing and hearing the emotional feelings of excitement, joy and happiness firsthand was all a direct result of Ed Snider’s understanding of what the youth hockey community needed, and what was necessary, so participation in the sport, and The Flyers fan base, would flourish for years to come.”
Snider’s vision and support blossomed into many other groundbreaking programs like The Flyers Cup High School Hockey Championship, The Pennsylvania Cup, Pepsi Shootout, Mites on Ice and the Learn to Play Programs at public rinks across Philadelphia, as well as The 1988 Celebrity All Star Hockey game versus the Flyers Alumni where the proceeds supported youth hockey.
“Those programs led to many Delaware Valley youngsters playing hockey and growing up to be Flyers fans, to play hockey in college, to participate in the Olympics, as well as be standouts in the NHL. Those programs were also foundational for what Snider Hockey is continuing today,” said Hefferan.
To be eligible for recognition, the individuals or businesses must have been actively involved in amateur hockey in the Delaware Valley from no earlier than 1967. There will be up to three honorees each year as selected by the selection committee.
The nominations and selection committee will be chaired by Jim Doyle, replay official and a longtime member of the NHL’s off-ice officials at Flyers home games and USA Hockey’s appointed Referee-in-Chief for the Atlantic District.
The committee will be composed of representatives from the AAHA, residing in the Delaware Valley, and the Snider Family and shall secure annual nominations from the community and the AAHA, its leagues, zones and members, including organization leaders, parents, officials and players both past and present.
Selected recipients of the Ed Snider Award for Commitment to Youth Hockey will be recognized at the annual meeting or awards banquet of the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association and other events.
“Having the AAHA recognize the builders, contributors, players, coaches, officials and many others who fostered the growth of the amateur hockey community in the Delaware Valley is in line with the goals of Snider Hockey,” said Scott Tharp, Executive Director of Snider Hockey. “We are delighted to see an effort like this and thank the recipients who helped make the community what it is today.”
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