The Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation exists for one reason, to help adult hockey players and their families in times of crises due to catastrophic injury or illness. In January of 2011, a small group of adult recreation league hockey players decided to start the Foundation. What started as an idea to honor a fallen friend and “make a difference” has blossomed into an important resource for families in need Since its inception, the Foundation has unbelievably generated over $500,000. More importantly, we have been able to positively impact the lives of many. For the weekend warrior recovering from a nasty injury or serious illness, Dawg Nation has provided resources and amazing acts of human kindness that have not only changed the lives of our recipients, but also our volunteers at the same time. It has been an amazing journey so far, and absolutely could not have occurred without the countless volunteer hours of many, and the incredible generosity of many more. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please take a few minutes to check out our “Giving Back” page. Our recipients are a very diverse group-they’re men and women, and they’re young and not so young. But what they all have in common is that they’re part of our hockey community, and they’ve gone through a difficult period of their lives. Dawg Nation exists to help these people.
Our work has really just begun! We’re picking up steam- more and more people are hearing about us, and are asking how they can join our great cause. A huge “thank you” to all of you that have made all this possible. You have made, and continue to make the world a better place. Our Origins
In 2003, a group of men from all walks of life got together and wanted to try their hand at adult recreation league hockey. They formed a team called the Junkyard Dawgs, and set themselves up at the Edge Ice Arena in Littleton, Colorado. This was not a particularly good team, by the way. But win or lose, they’d enthusiastically show up every week, play some hockey, share stories, and as time went on, became a small family.
In a short time, it became pretty well known that the Dawgs were a great team to be on, and the line started forming to become part of the “family”. In fact, there was so much interest; the team was able to split into two complete squads. There was Dawgs I, who would feature a lot of the younger players and play in a higher division, and Dawgs II, which would play in the next level down.
Since then, our “small family” has blossomed into one of the largest adult hockey organizations in the region. We have become Dawg Nation. We’re now up to six teams, and over 80 players, ranging in age from teens to veterans in their seventies. There have been many happy events, such as parties, weddings and births, which have brought The Nation together. Unfortunately, there have been far too many tragedies that have tested the character of our organization, and subsequently brought us even closer together. During the past several years, we have had several bouts with cancer, a hockey accident that nearly crippled one of our players, and we even lost one of our families to a devastating disease in 2010.
Whenever something bad happens, that player and his family can always count on Dawg Nation to rally behind them. Whether it be in the form of an email, or maybe a gift card, or even some needed financial help, all that a Dawg needs to do is look over his shoulder, and he’ll see his other family standing right there with him.
Now, by establishing the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, our efforts will not only help our own, but will also reach out to assist other hockey players who have been injured, or are battling serious medical problems. Through various fundraisers, we will do everything we can to help, because we all know that sometimes a small group of people can make a huge difference.
The players, volunteers, donors, sponsors and you are all part of the Dawg Nation family.