2015 has started off as a very busy year for Dawg Nation. Amongst our many adventures was the Pabst Pond Hockey Tourney in Silverthorne, Colorado. This annual tourney is the region’s largest outdoor tourney and one of the best run events I’ve ever been part of.
David Janowiec and his company (The Recess Factory) run this one and are absolute pros! This year, David asked Dawg Nation to be the charity partner and we jumped at the opportunity. Our role was to park cars during the weekend and play a little hockey! This is huge tourney (150 teams!) so the parking piece was a pretty hearty task. Led by David Chamberlin, our team pulled in almost $4,000 during the weekend.
The cost of the weekend was almost completely offset by the generosity of Dawg Nation members Al Zuckerman, Craig Graham and John Hayes. Each of these generous Dawgs hosted several folks in their Summit County homes for the weekend. This allowed us to completely eliminate the cost of lodging for the weekend.
The weekend was culminated with another BIG check presentation. This one went to Craig Moilanen at the tournament party on Sunday, February 15th. Craig is a local firefighter/hockey player that is battling leukemia and recently underwent a bone marrow transplant. Craig was unable to attend due to his physical condition and was represented by two of his fellow firefighters, Brad and David Danek.
There were lots of memories but the most amazing came right after our check presentation. Each year the PBR Tourney has a contest for the “best hockey hair”. The winner is awarded $500 so there are typically some pretty sweet mullets, slicks and other creative do’s. This year was no exception as there were several worthy participants. That’s until Austin, Texas’ Ryan Lindsey stepped up.
Ryan, who had been growing out his mullet for an entire year, was introduced wearing a giant foam cowboy hat. When he tipped his hat to the crowd it was revealed that he shaved the top of his head to produce a brilliant “Gallagher” look! The crowd went wild and Ryan was named the winner of the $500! But here’s the really cool part. When Ryan was named the winner he quickly grabbed the microphone and declared that he was donating his prize directly to Dawg Nation!!! Wow, talk about a class act. Folks like Ryan are what make the hockey community special. It was an amazing moment that I will never forget!