Clement & Cote Assist on LV Winter Classic Goal

Cote_Clement_special_hockey.jpg

 

The sixth annual Lehigh Valley Winter Classic will take place on January 26, 2019 at Bethlehem Ice Rink (345 Illick's Mill Rd) in Bethlehem, PA, starting at 8 a.m. and running until 9:00 p.m. ET.  The puck drop for the Lehigh Valley Polar Bears game is slated for 2:00 p.m. As they did last year, Flyers Alumni members Bill Clement and Riley Cote will be on hand to lend their support as ambassadors for and coaches at the event. Special guest Steve Coates will also be there to sign autographs and greet fans in attendance.

 

One hundred percent of the proceeds go to benefit Special Hockey of Lehigh Valley. 

 

Founded in 2014 by Joe Guellnitz and his wife, Special Hockey of Lehigh Valley provides access to hockey for children and young adults with a 1-to-1 ratio of coaches to players. The program started with five players in 2014 and has grown to 37 players, ages 6 to 25, including four girls. As the program has grown, so has the staff of coaches. The instructors, including 24 USA Hockey-trained junior coaches, are trained in meeting players' special needs via the Center for Autism.

 

The Special Hockey of Lehigh Valley program is provided free of charge to participating families: no equipment charges, no ice-time fees, no registration cost and no travel-related fees. This is all made possible through the funds raised via the Lehigh Valley Winter Classic  and the generosity of donors and sponsors.  More than $90,000 has been raised over the first five events leading into this year.

 

The LV Winter Classic holds special personal meaning to Clement.

 

"I have a daughter with Down Syndrome. When the organizers approached me last year about participating, it was a natural fit. What I've learned is that this is truly a wonderful event that provides an extremely valuable service to the special needs youth of the community," Clement said.

"Last year, I thought I knew beforehand what the event would be like, but it far surpassed any expectations I had. The kids, the volunteeers, the fans were all amazing. Their level of energy, ethusiasm and sheer joy for the event and the sport of hockey were beyond belief. It's hard to put the feeling into words, except to say that I felt enriched and honored to be there. Hockey is a universal language. Coaching these special kids, I realized that they have as much love for the game as I did from the time of my own childhood."

 

Created in 2014, the Lehigh Valley Polar Bears team is an American Special Hockey and USA Hockey affiliate. For more infomation on the 2019 Lehigh Valley Winter Classic, including donation and sponsorship opportunities, click here. Information is also available via the event Facebook page.

 

 

Bethleh