Hockey’s Heroes Foundation was established in 2010 by professional hockey player Dan Fritsche. The goal of the foundation is to help as many families as possible who are fighting pediatric cancer. Through the years, the foundation has provided thousands of dollars to those families in need.
"Hockey's Heroes was started after I played for the Columbus Blue Jackets," said Fritsche. "During my time with them I spent a lot of time visiting the Children's Hospital with the Blue Jackets Foundation. I became really close with a lot of kids and their families. One kid in particular was Ryan Salmons. Both Ryan and his family became great friends of mine and stayed in touch. Ryan passed away about 5 years ago and I think it was his passing that really made me want to get involved in some way," said Fritsche.
So how can you help support Hockey's Heroes Foundation? One way is to purchase a hockey lace support bracelet for $15. 100% of the proceeds go to families fighting pediatric cancer. Bracelets can be purchased here. Another way to support Hockey's Heroes is by attending the annual Hockey's Heroes Golf Outing, which is a four person scramble with a shotgun start. The cost of the outing is $500 a foursome. Price includes lunch and beer at the turn, two drink tickets and a steak dinner at the end of the outing. As with the bracelets, 100% of proceeds will help families fighting pediatric cancer. The majority of the money raised is used for medical expenses, but according to Fritsche, "we have used some of the money to buy gifts for the kids to put a smile on their face."
The 2014 golf outing will take place on June 28 at 10 a.m. at Briarwood Golf Club in Broadview Heights. You can register for the golf outing online at hockeysheroes.org
It's been four years since Fritsche started Hockey's Heroes. When asked what some of the best moments are so far, he said many are at the golf outings because it's there that he sees how generous people really are. Another top moment is the days that he gets to meet with the families that are dealing with so much. "Seeing the smile on the kids faces and the appreciation from the parents, that's what keeps our foundation going strong," added Fritsche.
Fritsche said when he started the foundation he knew he wanted the word hockey in it, not only because of his families history with the sport, but because he knew he wanted to target the hockey community. "In my opinion, there are no better people in the sports world then the hockey community. I think everybody that plays the game just grows up in great families and then surrounds themselves with great people at the rinks and in the locker rooms," Fritsche said.
Fritsche currently plays hockey in Zurich Switzerland. He says he is really looking forward to the day when he retires so he will be able to put a lot more time and focus into raising money for the foundation. To find out more about Hockey's Heroes Foundation, visit hockeysheroes.org