John Matthew – November, 2016

John Matthew check
John Matthew (far left) suffered a very scary bicycle accident this past summer that actually left him temporarily paralyzed. The accident broke John’s neck but luckily he is expected to make a full recovery. John spent quite a bit of time in the hospital and also missed several weeks of work. Last night’s generosity from Bout Time Pub & Grub and the rest of the SDOHL league will go a long way in helping John get back on his feet/skates!! This true warrior is targeting a return to the ice in late 2017!

Andrew “Cookie” Pfankuch – November, 2016

Andrew “Cookie” Pfankuch check
And the icing on the cake came in the second period when we surprised Andrew “Cookie” Pfankuch with a check to help cover his lingering medical bills from his victorious battle with cancer. Several former Eagles (now Dawgs) helped us with this special presentation!!! HUGE thanks to the Colorado Eagles in helping pull this one off!

Bretlyn Schmidtmann – October, 2016

Bretlyn Schmidtmann check
The inaugural Colorado Avalanche 5K was quite a success as we followed up the run/walk/skate with a very emotional check presentation to Bretlyn Schmidtmann. Bretlyn and her husband (Charlie) lost their home in the Nederland wild fires this summer. We were able to aid them with a check for $10,000!!! We weren’t finished though. In addition to the check , we also were able to present them with a Saint Bernard puppy (Watson) to help replace the hole in their heart that was suffered when they lost their Saint Bernard (Geno) in that same wild fire. The Schmidtmann’s plan to “pay it forward” by training Watson as a therapy dog.

Evan Hanlon – September, 2016

Evan Hanlon check
Evan is a young man that has faced some very daunting medical issues due to complications from diabetes. After a very scary brush with death, Evan is back on his feet and almost back on his skates! However, this special young man missed a bunch of work and accumulated quite a few bills during his recovery. Led by Garrett Ladd and Eric Garza of Bout Time Pub & Grub, we were able to provide a $13,000 check to Evan.

Mike Chambers – September, 2016

Mike Chambers check
Completely caught off guard, Mike Chambers was our first recipient at this year’s Tee it Up for Dawg Nation event. We surprised Mike with a check for $5k right before tee off. Mike has faced a couple of recent surgeries and was looking at some mounting medical bills, not anymore!! Mike has been an integral part of our organization from the onset and he continues to be a key piece to our puzzle.

Irene Bouck – September, 2016

Brian “Irene Bouck check
Fun night at South Suburban Ice Arena as we surprised hockey mom/player/manager, Irene Bouck. A recent illness landed Irene in the hospital and put her out of commission for a short time . The check covers some of those expenses and helps ease Irene’s mind. Look for this super lady around the rink and at future Dawg Nation events!

Andy Capra – August, 2016

Andy Capra check
Andy, an avid hockey player, recently lost his wife and best friend to cancer. Andy shared an emotional, wonderful, heartfelt tribute to Nicole that had everyone in tears. Although heartbroken, Andy has a tremendous group of family and friends to lean on. You’ll most definitely see Andy and his family at future Dawg events as he shared it’s his goal to “pay it forward”.

Mousseau Family – June, 2016

DSC_0693a Mousseau
Oliver “Butch” Mousseau, was loved by everyone he touched. This gentle giant with an inviting smile and heart of gold was as good as they get. Butch tragically passed away in March of 2016 after falling in the warm-ups of an NCAA playoff game. Butch will be dearly missed by all and has left a large void in the officiating and hockey community alike. In an incredible outpouring of love from the entire hockey community, Macaire (Butch’s widow) accepted Dawg Nation’s largest check ever prior to the beginning of the annual Survivor Game.

Butch, a member of the Lakota Sioux tribe, was the first and only Native American to referee an NHL hockey game. His skates and sweater can be seen in the NHL Hall of Fame today.

Torin Perret – June, 2016

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Torin is a 21 year old CSU student playing hockey in the Fort Collins adult league. In early 2016, Torin was diagnosed with a grade three inoperable cancerous brain tumor. Torin is currently undergoing a series of radiation and chemotherapy in an effort to alleviate the tumor which Torin has affectionately named “Chad”.

Torin, playing in his first Survivor Game, was surprised with a large check during a stoppage between periods of the Survivor Game. The check was generated through a combination of Dawg Nation funds and generous donations from all the teams participating in this year’s Dawg Bowl.

 

 

 

Sean Gagnon – June, 2016

Sean Gagnon

Sean Gagnon was a very gifted hockey player that participated in the sport from the age of five. He excelled at the collegiate level (Wagner College) and continued to play into his adult years.

In 2014, Sean is was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 31. Today he battles to complete simple tasks as this devastating disease has attacked hands, legs and even his speech.

In perhaps Dawg Nation’s most emotional presentation ever, Luke Fulghum (Sean’s childhood teammate), presented Sean with check that was overwhelming to everyone that witnessed the moment.

Carrie Jay – June, 2016

CarrieJay

Carrie is the wife of long time Dawg Jonathan Jay. The Jay family have been extremely generous with their time, money and hearts since the inception of Dawg Nation.

Carrie recently spent almost three weeks in the hospital after complications from routine surgery. Her spleen was nicked causing fluid buildup around her lungs and severe pain. It does appear that a full recovery is in order and we expect to continue to see Carrie at every Dawg event.

Long time friend and teammate Jonathan Ripley had the honor of presenting Carrie and Jonathan with a check from Dawg Nation.

Brian “Opie” Wassberg – April, 2016

Brian “Opie” Wassberg check
Brian Wassberg, affectionately known as “Opie” in the hockey community, has been playing goalie for over 40 years in numerous hockey leagues including the Edge Old Time Hockey League (EOHL) at The Edge Ice Arena. The years playing goalie have taken their toll, and Opie recently had both knees surgically replaced.

Opie has financial needs due to time off from work, physical therapy requirements, ice machine costs, co-pays for prescriptions and other deductibles, Physician assistant costs not covered by insurance, and medical equipment costs. In addition to those needs, Opie developed complications after his surgeries which put him in the hospital for another 12 days.

Dawg Nation teamed up with all of Opie’s friends in the EOHL in a fundraising effort to help out Opie, and Dawg Nation was pleased to present him and his wife Lori a check for $6185 on April 14, 2016 at the Edge Ice Arena.

Kevin Lehman – March, 2016

Kevin Lehman check
Savannah Lehman is the daughter of Kevin Lehman, a member of the Army of Darkness hockey team who are longtime friends and supporters of Dawg Nation. In September of 2015 Savannah had a blood clot in her pulmonary artery and was rushed to the hospital where she suffered a stoppage to her heart in the emergency room. She miraculously pulled through after 45 minutes of CPR and another scary moment the following day, but due to lack of oxygen during those moments, she suffered brain and spinal cord injuries. After numerous surgeries she is for now wheelchair bound and has limited use of her legs. Through it all Savannah has shown a tremendous amount of strength and spirit (including popping wheelies in the hospital in her wheelchair), and is heavily focused on her goal of one day walking again and doing all the things that come with that.  She is now back home and will have a long road to recovery.

The Army of Darkness players and Dawg Nation teamed up to raise funds for Kevin and Savannah, and at the 2016 Stand Up For Dawg Nation comedy night Dawg Nation was proud to present Kevin a check for $10,045 to assist in Savannah’s recovery, making him the 4th member of the Army of Darkness to have been assisted by Dawg Nation since 2012.

Dave Repsher – February, 2016

Dave Repsher
Dave was a hero long before the events of July 2015, when the Flight For Life Helicopter on which he worked as a nurse went down and crashed in Summit County. While trying to rescue the pilot the copter exploded and left Dave in critical condition, with 3rd degree burns over 90% of his body. Due to the extensiveness of his injuries he remains in a burn unit yet today, with a long road to recovery before him… still, he looks to the future with the heart and soul of a fighter/hockey player, with a great attitude and the grit and dedication to overcome.

In addition to his work with Flight For Life, he’s also a long time member of the Copper Mountain Ski Patrol, and an avid hockey fan and player, having played for years with the Summit County Adult League.

With the assists of Dawg Nation, Copper Mountain Resort, and the Summit County Community, he and his wife, Amanda, look forward to him being back on the ice one day.

Renee Sherman – February, 2016

Renee Sherman
Lincoln Sherman was all about hockey… he not only played the sport with the Ft Collins Adult Hockey Assoc, and was always up for a last minute sub position should a team be in need, but he helped found FCPHL (Ft. Collins Pond Hockey League) back in 1992. And when he wasn’t playing the game, he was teaching it… helping many to get their skates moving out on the ice in the right direction.

He was a great guy, both on and off the ice, which made it all the harder when Lincoln suddenly passed away this past summer from a heart attack, leaving behind his lovely wife and two remarkable daughters.

In tribute to this man of merit, and to help with the financial strain his passing has left, Dawg Nation and the FCPHL have joined forces to contribute to the future college education for his daughters.

David Wood – February, 2016

David Wood
Despite being only 26 years old David knows a thing or two about illness, as he’s lived with a chronic disease since he was 12. After a long search and many doctors and tests he has only recently received the correct diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease, and is now undergoing treatments that have included 4 weeks of chemo therapy.

A fighter, and with an amazing attitude, he has endeavored to remain a part of the hockey community, even playing in a league with his dad when his health would allow. (His dad has recently taken a hiatus from the game they both love, until he can return to the ice with David there to join him.)

While the road before him is a long and costly one, Dawg Nation and FCPHL have coordinated efforts to help make the journey a little easier. With the support of many and his own positive attitude he is slowly getting his life back and looking forward to a future bright with possibility.

Jeff “Jammer” Jiampetti – January, 2016

Jeff -Jammer- Jiampetti

Jeff is a single dad with two young girls. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Jeff’s world was turned upside down. Jeff was treated at John’s Hopkins in Maryland and after a couple of difficult months things are looking up for this avid hockey player.

Described as “always the best teammate”, Jammer is back on the ice but his medical bills have continued to pile up. With the help of Jeff’s longtime team (The Loons) we were able to pass on a check for $10,990 at the 2016 Evergreen Pond Hockey Tournament. A tearful and very grateful Jeff is sure to be a fixture at Dawg events for years to come.

Jeff & Linda McMenamin – December, 2015

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Jeff McMenamin was one of the founders of the Monkees hockey team that has played throughout the Denver area since the mid ‘90s. A core group of players from the original Monkees is now an integral part of Dawg Nation through their participation on the Dawg’s II hockey team and the annual Dawg Bowl tournament.

Jeff’s wife Linda, who is a registered nurse and fitness instructor, suffered a debilitating abdominal injury that has prevented her from working and affected her everyday life. This injury required a very specialized surgery and has left the family with some challenging medical bills. A check for $10,218 was provided to the family on December 12, 2015.

Doug Smail – September, 2015


Doug Smail, a former NHL star and long time hockey coach was dealt the worst blow any parent can be dealt when he lost his son Cody in 2011. Cody was a young man that followed in his father’s footsteps with his love of hockey. At the 2015 “Tee it Up for Dawg Nation” golf tournament Cody was honored when a check in the amount of $2,620.00 was donated to the “American Foundation for Suicide Prevention” in his name.

Sophie Lee – September, 2015

Harvey Lee’s daughter Sophie contracted E Coli and this quickly led to a domino effect, including kidney failure, fluid in the lungs (for which she had to have a breathing tube inserted), and most recently pancreatitis. She has been in the hospital during that time, and Harvey and his family have been with her the whole way. He is running out of PTO at work, which means he will now need to transition to short-term and/or long-term absence, which combined with the costs of a prolonged hospital stay has had a significant financial impact. And of course it has been a very difficult emotional time, which can’t be measured.

On September 19, 2015 Dawg Nation was pleased to present the Lee family with a check for $14,500.

 Becca Durbahn – June, 2015

Becca had a back injury some time ago that required surgery last year. Her recovery is up and down with times that she can play hockey and times she can’t sit up. She is going to need another surgery in the near future and her being a full time student at DU to get her doctorate money has been extremely tight, and causing doctor bills to pile up faster than she can pay them off.

On June 19, 2015, Dawg Nation was pleased to present Becca with a check for $2,500

 Cody Beekman – June, 2015


Recently, Dawg Nation discovered that previous recipient, Cody Beekman, needed help to continue his rehabilitation at the Spinal Cord Injury Center.

Cody Beekman is everything that Dawg Nation is all about. On Halloween in 2011, Cody’s car was struck by a drunk driver, and he was paralyzed from the chest down. When we got word of this, and got to know Cody and the Beekman family, we knew we had to jump in and help.

In our most labor intensive project yet, we were able to build two ramps, a bathroom, a new doorway, and a hardwood floor at Cody’s house. Also, we helped the Beekmans buy a handicapped accessible van, and help Cody with his medical bills and rehab costs.
Cody has already made terrific progress, and we can’t wait for the day when he’ll regain the mobility he’s working so hard to achieve. He now is a permanent member of Dawg Nation, and we’ll be with him through his entire journey.

On June 19, 2015, Dawg Nation was pleased to present Cody with a check for $24,000

 Shane Wakeland – June, 2015

On July 8, 2014, during an adult hockey game at Foothills Ice Rink, Shane was taken off the ice in a stretcher straight to the hospital. Shane broke his tibia and fibula and suffered nerve damage on his left leg and foot. Shane had surgery the next day for placement of a titanium rod and 3 screws along with months of rehab and nerve studies. Shane was unable to work for 3 months following surgery.

Shane, who has participated in many Dawg Nation events, is a youth ice hockey coach and has been a participant in adult hockey in the Denver area since moving here in 2003. He would like to get back on the ice soon!

On June 19, 2015, Dawg Nation was pleased to present Shane with a check for  $5,000

Greg “Red” Hidden Family – April, 2015

Dawg Nation teamed with our brothers and sisters in stripes to honor Greg “Red” Hidden. Red was a long time fixture in the Colorado hockey community and will be missed by all. Red’s life was cut short in a tragic traffic accident near his home in Mead Colorado. CIHRA president John Eddy speared headed a wonderful tribute/fundraiser for the Hidden family. We were honored as a check for over $23,000 was given to the family.

Craig Moilanen – February, 2015

Craig is near and dear to our heart as this young father and husband as endured so much in the last eighteen months. Craig is battling leukemia and was a DN recipient in February, 2014. It appeared Craig was on the road to recovery until his disease come roaring back in the fall of 2014. As part of the PBR Pond Hockey tournament we were able to provide Craig and his family with another $10,000 to help the family with the growing medical bills.

Les Borsheim – January, 2015

Les is fixture in the Northern Colorado hockey scene. Before a life changing motorcycle accident in 2088, Les was a rough and tumble forward for the Loveland based Colorado Eagles. Les is currently a color commentator for the team and will use his $5,000 check to purchase exercise equipment to aid in his recovery.

Christopher Earls – January, 2015

Chris Earls is local adult player in the battle of his life. Chris has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and faces difficult challenges every day. Chris received a $5,000 check at Dawg Nation’s inaugural Bubble Hockey Tournament at Bout Time Pub and Grill to help offset his mounting medical bills. Chris’ check was emotionally presented by his co-worker and cancer survivor, Andy Ortez.

Guy Kennedy – December, 2014

Guy Kennedy is an adult hockey player and youth hockey coach. This quiet family man is a great husband, devoted father and cherished teammate. Guy recently encountered the difficult news of cancer in his throat and tonsils.

The tough news sprung Guy’s teammates into action. Led by Jeff Davis, the Loons rallied around the cause and within two weeks Dawg Nation and the Loons presented the Kennedy’s with a check for $10,140!

Amy Ahonen- October 2014

ahonen

Amy Ahonen was well-known as a hockey player and outdoor enthusiast. She was last seen July 8, 2011. In March of 2014, it was confirmed that bones found in two different Denver area locations were Amy’s. The family exhausted funds in search of Amy and had buried her but weren’t able to afford a headstone at this time. In addition, the family needed to pick up Amy’s Jeep which had been impounded for nearly three years. That’s when Dawg Nation swung into action. The car was repaired and detailed free of charge. A custom quilt was presented to the family depicting Amy’s life in Colorado and check was presented to the family to cover the costs of a headstone.

Peterson Family- September 2014

Angie Peterson is a well-known Women Hockey League Player in Denver. Her husband Tom is battling a rare form of cancer. Angie and her two children were guests at Tee It For Dawg Nation IV and received a $13,000 check to help with the overwhelming medical expenses the family is dealing with. Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation made a grant which included matching funds raised by and Open Skate and Silent Auction at the Apex Center hosted by the Denver Women’s Hockey League and Dawg Nation.

David Topping- June 2014

David Topping is a long time hockey enthusiast. Besides being a beer league goalie, and certified ice hockey referee, David works as a professional photographer. Earlier this year, David had a benign brain tumor removed. While the tumor was thankfully non cancerous, he is still undergoing treatments for complications resulting from the surgery. This year at the Dawg Bowl IV, the hockey community came out in record numbers to offer support. Along with Mike Haynes (Sports Radio Professional), fellow CIHRA referees, Dawg Nation Hockey foundation is pleased to offer a grant for $11,680 to assist with his medical bills. We continue to wish David well on his road to health.

Andy Ortez- June 2014

Andy was diagnosed in 2005 with a rare form of cancer that has greatly impacted his life. During his fight to beat cancer, the cancer spread to his lymph nodes and his lung in which time he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given only 9 months to live. Andy endured multiple treatments including various surgeries, radiation treatments and chemo treatments in hopes of curing his cancer. While Andy is now 8 years cancer free, he still endures continuing health battles related to his cancer treatment. In the spring of 2014 he recently underwent another surgery to improve his health. Andy is an amazing father to his 14 year old son, AJ, and has 2 more sons on the way as his wife is currently pregnant with twin boys, due in August. Through a grant from Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation along with support from his friends, family and the hockey community, we were proud to offer some financial assistance in the amount of $16,247 to aid in his recovery.

Christina Montoya- June 2014

Christina Montoya is an active member of the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation “Survivor” Community. She began playing in the Survivor Game in 2012 and is always eager to participate every year. Christina exemplifies the words “Inspiration” and “Grace”. She is always willing to share her experiences and offer support and encouragement to her fellow teammates. She has won many health battles including cancer, and always faces her challenges with courage and determination. Unfortunately her medical issues are not over. Over the years, Christina has battled a severe thyroid condition (Hashimoto’s Disease), and tumors in her liver. As we all know, insurance only covers so much. Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, along with contributions from her friends, family, teammates, and the hockey community at large have come together and raised $12,487. We hope this financial assistance will ease some of her burden and allow her time to focus on her health and recovery.

Jorden Brantley-June 2014

Jorden Brantley is active in the hockey community in many ways. He is a small business owner of a local hockey equipment shop in the Highlands Ranch, CO area. He is also very active in his adult rec. league hockey program. Jorden suffered a severe hernia in the spring of 2014 that has limited his activities both on and off the ice. Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation has granted him $5,000 to assist with medical expenses. We wish him a speedy recovery and are excited to watch him return to his active business.

Al Sterner- March 2014

Al Sterner is one of the original members of Dawg Nation, and has been a goalie for the club since 2005. He also has been very involved with the DNHF charity, coordinating the rules, schedules, and scoring staff for the annual Dawg Bowl hockey tourney, and Tee It Up golf tourney.

His pet project for the past two years has been the DNHF Teddy Bear Toss, along with the Denver Cutthroats. Fans throw stuffed animals on the ice, and they are then donated to the Denver Santa Claus Shop. Over 2000 toys have found their way into Denver area homes.

This year, Al was diagnosed with advanced cataracts, leaving him legally blind in one eye, and very impaired in the other. There are many words that do not go very well together- “blind” and “goalie” are two of those words. So his Dawg Nation family stepped up, and helped pay for his surgery, which will allow him to continue to play the game he loves so much.

Shaun Kenney-February 2014

Shaun Kenney has been a long time supporter and volunteer for Dawg Nation. He has worn the Dawg sweater for many years and has always been a guy that has stepped up and donated countless hours to helping others in need. This past December, Shaun suffered a very badly broken ankle when he fell awkwardly into the boards during an adult league game at the Promenade. The injury required major surgery and Shaun is out of pocket $15,000. Through a grant from DNHF and community support, we were able to provide a check for $7000 to ease some of his financial burden.

Craig Moilanen- February 2014

Craig Moilanen is an avid hockey player and fan, and in 2012 realized his dream of becoming a firefighter and eventually was promoted to the rank of captain. Unfortunately, during a doctor’s examination for a cold, it was discovered that Craig had lymphoma.

As often happens with firefighters, his brothers and sisters have rallied in support of Craig and his family. In December, they staged a one day hockey tournament featuring departments from all over the region, and all proceeds from that event went into a fund to help with his massive medical bills.

Dawg Nation got word of Craig’s situation, and have joined with these heroes in their efforts to aid a fellow hockey player, public servant, and great family man. Because of the tournament, other contributions, and a grant from the DNHF, on February 8th we were able to present Craig and his family a check for $17,000- our largest single amount to date.

We wish Craig Moilanen and his family all the best, and he’ll stay in our thoughts and prayers as he continues his battle.

Skip Scarlett- January 2014

Skip Scarlett has been a referee in the Colorado region for over 20 years, and is a fixture in the adult hockey community. In October of 2013, doctors discovered blocked arteries in Skip’s heart, forcing quadruple bypass surgery.

As usual, his fellow referees have gathered to help Skip as he recovers and makes his way back to the ice. Many have donated game fees to his cause, and his friends at Dawg Nation have arranged for a matching contribution.

On January 5th, Skip was presented with a check for $6100, and we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.

Dane Jensen- November 2013

In July of 2012 Dane Jensen was injured during a men’s league game in Centennial, Colorado, breaking both ankles. Since then, he’s had four surgeries, an emergency procedure related to the injury, and on top of that has recently become a new father.

Dane’s friends and teammates, along with his new friends from Dawg Nation, came together to help him with his medical costs as he battles back from his injuries. During a Denver Cutthroats game in December, we were very proud to present him with a check for $10,708.

The DNHF congratulates Dane on the new addition to his family, and wishes him the very best of luck getting back on the ice in the near future.

Mark Miquelon- September 2013

Mark Miquelon lives near Colorado Springs, and plays adult hockey in that area. The game is a family affair for the Miquelons- his wife and kids also strap on the skates in various programs.

Last summer, Mark lost his home in the devastating Black Forest Fire. Rebuilding will be a very expensive process, and insurance won’t come close to covering his costs. We heard about his situation, and decided to give some aid as part of our Tee It Up For Dawg Nation golf tournament in September.

With the help of several members of the Denver Cutthroats, we held a putting contest during the tourney, and raised around $1500. The Miquelons were very grateful to receive this amount, but were overwhelmed later when Dawg Nation surprised them with another grant that raised the total to $10,000.

We hope this money takes some of the load off of Mark and his family, as they rebuild their home and move forward with their lives.

The Karas Family- June 2013

In June 2013, Jeff Karas lost his long battle with cancer, leaving behind a lovely wife Heather and two beautiful children, Michael and Marina. Jeff had a strong connection with hockey over his lifetime. He played at Colorado College while continuing his education and then played in adult leagues after finishing school. Committed to passing on his love of the sport, he coached for the Colorado Select Girls Association , Littleton Hockey Association, and Chaparral High School.

Through donations from friends, family, teammates, and the kids he coached, along with a grant from Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, we were proud to present a check for $14,100 to the Karas Family. We hope the funds raised will be a source of comfort in the days to come and will help the Karas family continue on with the wonderful legacy of “Giving Back” Jeff worked so hard to achieve.

Dustin McGuinness- June 2013

In February of 2009, when he was 15 years old, Dustin McGuinness suffered a severe brain injury while playing a hockey tournament in Durango, Colorado. He spent several months in various stages of a coma, and as a result had to relearn almost every normal everyday human function.

Dustin is 19 now, and recently graduated from high school in Gunnison Colorado. He is back playing hockey in the intermediate adult league, but still struggles with regular activities.

The Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation would like to help Dustin in his quest to live a more independent life. We understand that a possible way for that to happen would be if he were to receive a specially trained service dog.

Finding the right animal can be a long process, and it’s not easy task, but Dawg Nation will do everything we can to help make it possible. So we pledge that throughout the entire process, we will support the McGuinness family.

The Skulborstad Family- June 2013

In May of 2013, the worst thing that can possibly happen to a parent occurred, when Leif and Vikki Skulborstad lost their beautiful two year old daughter Carli to a heart ailment called pulmonary hypertension. The Army of Darkness hockey team, and we at Dawg Nation, wanted the “Skullys” to know that they’re in our thoughts and prayers.

The Skullys have always been there to help other people through tough times, and his Army of Darkness family, along with his new family that is Dawg Nation, wanted to do what we could to help with their medical costs during that difficult hour.

Through donations from his teammates and their families, along with donations a grant from the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, we were very proud to present Leif and Vikki with a check for $11,050. We hope this brought even a little bit of comfort during their tragic time, and we also hope they know that Carli will be in our memories forever.

Shannon Lusso June 2013

Shannon Lusso was dancing at a club one evening and was hit by an out of control patron. When he struck her, she fell to the ground hitting her head knocking her unconscious. She was taken to a hospital by ambulance and they determined she had a minor fracture of the skull and a brain bleed. Her subsequent non-insured hospital stay resulted in astronomical medical bills. While Shannon has returned to full health, her finances have incurred a significant substantial strain. Because her assailant was never apprehended, she has no hope of seeking restitution from the person who caused her injuries.

Dawg Nation became aware of Shannon’s situation and we are proud to help. At Dawg Bowl III in June 2103, she became our first woman recipient, when we were able to present her with a check for $5000.

Shannon currently plays in the WACH league and is an active ambassador for the sport of hockey.

Keith Horstman- March 2013

Keith has been playing hockey most of his life, and is a fixture on Tuesday and Thursday nights in the SDOHL, which is an over-40 league at the Foothills Ice Arena. Whether playing in the more competitive Tuesday Select League, or more socially on Thursday nights, Keith has a great demeanor, and is a terrific teammate.

After never suffering a serious injury in his long career on the ice, eight months ago in the social league, he went awkwardly into the boards with another player, and separated his shoulder. Since then, he has separated the same shoulder two more times, requiring several visits to the emergency room, and finally a surgery to fix the problem.

Keith is just the kind of player the DNHF had in mind when they started two years ago. Not only is he a very good hockey player, you’ll never meet a nicer guy on or off the ice. During our annual Stand Up For Dawg Nation night at the Comedy Works, we were very proud to present Keith with our 18th recipient check to help with the costs of the ER visits and other procedures.

We wish him well, and look forward to seeing him soon, back in the SDOHL, and playing the game he loves.

Bob Wolff- March 2013

Bob began his hockey career just two years ago. He is 62 years old and always wanted to play, but he never had the opportunity. Then the desire to begin playing surfaced again, after watching his novice son Jeff play hockey for the first time. Bob discovered that most of the players on the ice were just getting started, and finally took the leap. He joined the novice team called NHLPA that has played at the Ice Ranch in Littleton, CO since 2011. Bob’s teammates are thrilled to share the experience with this true sportsman. His skill and knowledge of the game improves every time he steps on the ice.

Bob is passionate about playing, and very rarely misses a contest. However, after having severe head pain after a game, he was rushed to the ER, where the doctors discovered a blood clot that required emergency surgery. The tricky procedure went well, and as soon as the doctors give him the green light, we know Bob will be back on the ice.

Even with insurance, there are always medical bills that come with any operation. That’s where Bob’s friends at Dawg Nation come in. With the support of Comedy Works, under the leadership of Mike Raftery, DNHF was excited to make Bob Wolf our 17th recipient.

Shawn Leonard- December 2012

A longtime hockey player in several local leagues, Shawn has recently gone through major heart surgery, but now is on the road to recovery. He hopes to play again by the summer of 2013, and we’ll happily welcome him back.

This season, Dawg Nation has become partners with the new team in town, the minor league Denver Cutthroats. A special night was set aside in December when the Cutthroats were playing, and a portion of all tickets that were sold by our organization and friends of Shawn were put in a special fund. Between those ticket sales, and a matching grant from Dawg Nation, we were able to present Shawn with a check for over $6600.

Kim McLeod- October 2012

Kim McLeod was a long time coach in the Arvada Hockey Association, and had been waging the good fight against cancer for the past several years. Kim became part of the Dawg Nation family in 2012, not only by playing hockey and golf in our events, but also volunteering hours of his time to help our cause.

Kim was exactly the kind of person we look for when we choose our recipients. He selflessly gave his time, even though he was in the largest battle he could possibly be in. Kim finally lost his courageous fight, and passed away in May of 2013. He will be missed, but never forgotten.

Cody Beekman April 2012 & October 2012

Cody Beekman is everything that Dawg Nation is all about. On Halloween in 2011, Cody’s car was struck by a drunk driver, and he was paralyzed from the chest down. When we got word of this, and got to know Cody and the Beekman family, we knew we had to jump in and help.

In our most labor intensive project yet, we were able to build two ramps, a bathroom, a new doorway, and a hardwood floor at Cody’s house. Also, we helped the Beekmans buy a handicapped accessible van, and help Cody with his medical bills and rehab costs.

Cody has already made terrific progress, and we can’t wait for the day when he’ll regain the mobility he’s working so hard to achieve. He now is a permanent member of Dawg Nation, and we’ll be with him through his entire journey.

Ken Rose- September 2012

Ken Rose is 63, and a long time adult league player in Colorado Springs. In the summer of 2012, Ken lost his home and most of his belongings in the Waldo Canyon Fire, including all of his hockey equipment.

During our annual golf tourney called “Tee It Up for Dawg Nation”, a special putting contest was held to win a notebook computer. For ten dollars, a player could putt with a hockey stick, and the closest to the hole would win the prize. The money that was gathered from the promotion was given to Ken, and he was able to put around $2000 toward his new equipment.

This idea was a little bit different from the usual scope of what we do in Dawg Nation, but after hearing Ken’s story, we decided to find a way to help a good man in his time of need. We now have a whole new group of friends in Colorado Springs, as Ken has spread the word of Dawg Nation.

Christopher Grass- September 2012

Christopher has been suffering from epilepsy since 2000. Due, to his illness, Christopher routinely suffers injuries from his falls. Unfortunately, drug therapy helps, but does not render him seizure free, making it difficult for Christopher to work. Even though his illness has its challenges, he is an avid hockey player. He can be found playing goalie several times a week in different adult leagues in the Denver area. Besides playing hockey, Christopher is at home with his two beautiful children.

Christopher was our main recipient this year at our second annual Tee It Up For Dawg Nation- a golf tournament held at the Red Rocks Country Club. We hope we were able to help Christopher as he battles his illness, and hope for better health in his future.

Jenya Bukrinsky- August 2012

Jenya is an avid hockey player in the YMCA Boulder Valley adult league. He injured his knee playing in the Dawg Bowl II tourney in the summer of 2012. It was determined that Jenya would need immediate surgery to repair the injury, and Dawg Nation immediately sprang into action, granting money for the procedure. His friends and family also rallied to help him through the difficult time, raising money for other costs associated with the surgery.

Through extensive rehabilitation, he is now able to participate in men’s league once again, and we look forward to seeing Jenya and his team return this summer for Dawg Bowl III.

Scott Staude-June 2012

Scott is an on-ice official in the WCHA. He is long time board member and hockey instructor at his local club. He is very involved in the development of young hockey officials, and the growth of the Colorado Springs Officiating Association. He tore his MCL and meniscus refereeing a WCHA league game. Through extensive physical therapy, Scott returned to the ice in the fall of 2012.

Steve is one of several referees that the Dawg Nation Foundation has helped since we began in 2011. Our “family” is not restricted to players- adult hockey does not happen without the hard work from our officials, and we very much appreciate the effort from the men and women wearing the stripes.

Gabriel Acuna- June 2012

Gabriel is the son of Chris and Debbie Acuna- Chris plays on one of our many teams in Dawg Nation. Gabriel was born in 2011, and has required several surgeries to help correct problems with his legs and feet. The medical bills have been astronomical, but Dawg Nation has been there to help put a dent in those costs.

Last June, during our hockey tourney called Dawg Bowl II, we were able to stage an extra fund raiser called “Goals for Gabriel”. Teams pledged to contribute money for each goals their team scored, and between that and a big grant from Dawg Nation, we were able to proudly present the Acunas with a check for over $15,000.

Gabriel has had another surgery since that tourney, but he is on the right track to being able to live a normal life. Dawg Nation wishes him and the entire Acuna family well as he continues on his path to good health.

Ken Flowers- November 2011

Ken plays in an over 40 league – the SDOHL in Lakewood, Colorado. In an unfortunate on-ice accident, in November of 2011 Ken lost an edge while skating towards the boards. He crashed awkwardly and broke his ankle in two places. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and is back on the ice. He has now been able to resume running a successful landscaping company.

Dawg Nation was able to help Ken during his time when he could not work, and help put a dent in some of his medical bills. We hope he stays injury free, and continues to enjoy playing hockey for years to come.

Tim Kmetz- August 2011

Timmy Kmetz is one of the goaltending anchors of Dawg Nation, and a survivor of cancer that nearly cost him a leg when he was a teenager in Minnesota. Last year, Timmy received a quadruple hernia while playing, and had to have surgery to correct the problem. During our first golf tournament in 2011, we were able to present him with a check to help pay his hospital bills, and now he’s back on the ice, stopping pucks several nights a week.

Timmy is now one of our more active volunteers, and we appreciate all his help as we add more and more events in the future.

Steve Boex- April 2012

Steve is a family man, and is married with several children. He plays in the RMHL league alongside several Dawg Nation players. In a regular adult league game in December of 2011, Steve had an accident on the ice, shattering his jaw in five places. Through extensive surgery, his jaw was put back together, but recovery has been a slow process. After several month of rehabilitation, he is able to skate again.

Freak accidents like Steve’s seem to happen all the time in adult hockey, and they are a big part of the reason why the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation was formed. We wish him the best for a smooth recovery, and hope he remains injury-free.

Danny Packard- May 2011 & August 2012

Danny joined our original Junkyard Dawgs team as a teenager, and is still going strong now at the age of 26. We’ve watched him become a man, get married, and just recently, welcome his first child, a beautiful little girl called Kahlynn.

Several years ago, Danny was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and has been battling and winning the fight against the disease. In fact, he was one of the inspirations for beginning the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, and was one of our first recipients.

We look forward to having Danny as part of our family for years to come.

Dennis Tennant- May 2011

In the spring of 2011, Dennis was returning from a pond hockey tournament near Ft. Collins, CO when he suffered a stroke and a closed head injury at the wheel, ultimately leaving him partially paralyzed. Through perseverance, therapy, and the support of his friends and family, he is beginning to recover a lot of functionality on his right side.

Dennis was our recipient last year when we held our second annual Stand Up For Dawg Nation event, featuring the best comedic talent in the Rocky Mountain Region. Through the generosity of his friends and family who came to the show, and a grant from Dawg Nation, we were able to help Dennis defray some of his medical costs.

Dawg Nation wishes him the best of luck in his future.

Dan Hohenstein- April 2011

Dan, or “Hoagie”, as he’s known throughout the hockey community, is our first referee to receive a grant from Dawg Nation. Hoagie a letter carrier away from the ice, and was hit by a driver while on the job.

In our first tournament, Dawg Bowl I, all the referees participating gave their fees to a fund to help Hoagie with his medical bills, and Dawg Nation made a matching contribution. Getting back on the ice has been a slow process, but we know that very soon he’ll be back, keeping junior players and beer leaguers in line.

Dennis Heaton- April 2011

During the spring of 2010, while playing in a different league, Dennis crashed feet-first into the boards at South Suburban Ice Arena. He shattered his ankle in many places, resulting in a surgery to reconstruct the area.

During that surgery Dennis contracted an infection, and has since undergone two other procedures. The problem still persists, and in February he endured yet one more operation, which will keep him on crutches for an extended length of time. The doctor who performed the surgery was encouraged by the healthiness of the bone in his leg, and has very high hopes for recovery. The rehabilitation process will be long and formidable, but if anyone is up to the task, it’s Dennis Heaton.

Update: Dennis has recovered from his injuries and at of the beginning of 2013, he climbed Mt. Sherman.

Andy Gerrie- April 2011

Andy has one of the longest tenures with Dawg Nation- he has been with the organization for the past seven years. He skates at forward on Dawgs II, and has played a key role on four different championship squads. In fact, he is the Dawgs’ all time leading playoff scorer, and has come through in the clutch in many postseason games.

Three years ago, Andy was diagnosed with colon cancer. After surgery, and six grueling months of chemotherapy, he was back playing at full strength, and hoped that all of the illness was behind him. In recent months, there were signs that the cancer reappeared, but Andy has fought it off once again. As always, he knows no matter how many times he has to battle, every member of Dawg Nation will be right there with him, helping him beat the disease.