Special Needs Skaters To Challenge Military Veterans In Annual Game

Photo courtesy the Brick Stars Challenger hockey team

BRICK – The Brick Stars Challenger hockey team will face off against the USA Warriors Ice Hockey team in the 7th Annual Challenger Winter Classic on Feb. 4 at Avon Pond, beginning at 12 p.m.

The Stars hockey program embraces kids and adults that have physical, cognitive, or other challenges such as autism or Down syndrome. These challenges make it difficult for these individuals to join teams or programs, and the Stars program helps combat that.

The team will be taking on the USA Warriors Ice Hockey from Laurel, Maryland. This team is made up of wounded or disabled military veterans, and it provides them with physical activity and a sense of comradery and purpose.

“Our kids ask at the first practice, when are we playing the Warriors?” said Alex DePalma, founder and director of the Brick Stars program.

“I have to make sure that’s the first game I have booked,” agreed Dina Crepaldi, the team’s manager.  “The players love the excitement of the day, playing outdoors. They understand what the Warriors have done for them.”

File Photo

The event will include a military honor guard, participation by NJ Devils alumni and mascot, refreshments, and a silent auction. Admission is a free-will donation to the Brick Stars program.

“Everyone leaves this game with a big smile,” DePalma said. “It’s a great chance to tell veterans how much you appreciate their sacrifice, and to cheer on some very determined Brick Stars players.”

For more information contact alexdepalma@comcast.net , dinac01@aol.com or visit brickstarshockey.webs.com. For more information on the USA Warriors Ice Hockey program, visit usawarriors.org.