Video and sound bytes by Pete Krupsky for www.plymouthwhalers.com
PLYMOUTH – The boys are coming back to Plymouth on August 4.
The Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers have announced the team’s third annual Alumni Game, known as the “Champions for a Hunger Free Summer”, will be played on Saturday, August 4 at Compuware Arena at 4 pm.
Plymouth alumni – including several current and retired National Hockey League players stretching over the 23-year history of the franchise – will play in the game with proceeds going to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan.
While Whaler fans re-connect with former players, a winner of the game will be Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan and their corporate partners in the company’s Hunger Free Summer campaign. Fans can assist Gleaners and the Whalers in their efforts to give kids a Hunger Free Summer.
The Whalers are asking for a donation of 10 canned goods for admission. Tickets for $10 can be also purchased by calling the Compuware Arena box office at (734) 453-8400 or by going online to www.plymouthwhalers.com.
Included in the admission is an autograph session with the alumni, which will run from 2:00-3:30 pm.
Plymouth alumni scheduled to skate in the game include NHL players Chad LaRose (Carolina), Tyler Seguin (Boston), James Neal (Pittsburgh), Jared Boll (Columbus), and Matt Hackett (Minnesota) as well as retired Washington Capitals’ forward Pat Peake – the only Whaler to have his jersey retired by the franchise.
Other Plymouth alumni tentatively scheduled to play in the game include former captains Chris Terry (2005-09), John Vigilante (2002-06), AJ Jenks (2006-10) and Mike Morrone (1994-97); Tyler G. Brown (2007-11), Ryan Hayes (2007-10), Robbie Czarnik (2009-11), Jamie Devane (2008-12), Damian Surma (1998-02), Joe Byrne (1996-98), Mark Cadotte (1995-97), Scott Fletcher (2008-09), Dan Pawlaczyk (1993-97), Jason Lawmaster (1996-98), J.D. Eaton (1990-93), Jeff Gardiner (1990-92), James Sheehan (1990-92), Ryan Stephenson (2004-06) and Larry Sterling (2000-01).
Ryan McGinnis (2003-07) will attend the game, but will not play.
More alumni will confirm closer to August 4.
Any donation brought to the game will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Charter One Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Epoch Restaurant Group, American Specialty Oil Company and Joshua (Jim) and Eunice Stone Foundation providing six meals per dollar for children who are at risk of hunger and malnutrition while school is out.
The Whalers’ participation in Gleaners’ Hunger Free Summer campaign extends the initiative that goes from July 17-29 and will now run through the Alumni Game. 35 different corporations and organizations throughout Oakland County are participating in the effort this year.
For more information about Gleaners Hunger Free Summer campaign, please go online to http://www.gcfb.org/site/PageServer
This season’s Alumni Game is the third over Plymouth’s 23-year history. After playing for the first time in 2009, Whalers Alumni joined forces in 2010 to help raise awareness towards autism. The game on August 4 moves towards a similar path of re-connecting Plymouth Whalers players and fans while serving the community in a win-win scenario.
More details about and surrounding the “Champions for a Hunger Free Summer” Alumni Game will be released as they occur.
The “Champions for a Hunger Free Summer” Alumni Game jump-starts the Whalers’ 2012-13 season, with players coming back to work the team’s annual hockey schools going in one-week sessions starting on July 30 and running through August 17.
The Whalers open training camp for the 2012-13 season during the final week of August, with the team’s first preseason game happening on Sat. Sept.1 against Windsor. Plymouth’s home opener is Sat. Sept. 22 at 7:05 pm against Belleville at Compuware Arena. Tickets can be purchased by calling Compuware Arena at (734) 453-8400.