The Athletes Helping Athletes Showcase has become a fixture in local hockey circles. For the eight teams involved, (Central Bucks South, Central Bucks East, Father Judge, North Penn, Souderton, William Tennent, Hatboro-Horsham, Archbishop Wood) it is an opportunity to tune up for the season to come.
But it also an opportunity to promote the Athletes Helping Athletes effort as AHA founder Rick Leonetti explains.
“When the (AHA) kids come in here, I know they’re excited to be here,” Leonetti said Monday night. “I know the teams are excited to have them all which is even more beneficial. The parents get to sit back and watch the kids (participate in a ceremonial puck drop) and be a part of the team.
“Some of the teams let the let kids go into the locker room before the game. It’s an exciting thing because the kids get to do something typical.
“We have some high-school kids coming tonight that will host them and sit with them and talk to them. Whether they’re into the hockey games or not, the girls that are here tonight will sit with them and talk to them about everything under the sun.”
The showcase is now in its fifth season. North Penn coach Kevin Vaitis has brought his team to the showcase since Year Two.
“There are a few of my players that have been here since we started,” he said. “It just something that shows them that there’s more to ice hockey. Having some of these athletes here and cheering us on up against the glass, it’s really a thrill for them and it’s a great experience for us to kind of give back to them.”
The tournament will continue at Revolution Ice Gardens through October 26.