At FlipGive we strongly believe that every kid deserves the chance to play sports and that cost should never be the reason they don't participate. At their best, sports brings so many incredible benefits, including improving your physical fitness, and also the teamwork and leadership skills that are developed through a season of practices, games and team bonding time. In these difficult COVID times, we have watched our children struggle with the lack of activity and have all realized just how important sports are not only to the mental health of kids, but also for parents, as we miss out on time cheering our kids on with our "sports families". We were particulary interested in supporting girls sports, as an incredible 94% of women that reach the C-Suite played sports in their youth. Benefits today, and benefits well into the future.
We were thrilled to partner with the amazing Cammi Granato in 2020, with the shared goal of helping families who were struggling to keep their daughters in hockey stay in the game. What started as an idea for 21 (Cammi's number!) grants of $500 to help families with the cost of registration quickly grew as the NHL, NHLPA and Pure Hockey graciously joined to supply equipment grants to the recipients, showing their strong support for growing the girls game everywhere. Finally, The Coaches Site offered a full annual subscription for the head coach of each recipient to get access to amazing coaches content. We also wanted to thank USA Hockey for their support in growing awareness of the grant in Year 1. We launched FlipGiveGrants.com in November to encourage applicants to apply. As well, we'd invite you to support the 2021/22 Cammi Granato grant fundraiser which has started, where we plan to grow our impact through partnerships and increased awareness.
Reading the stories shared was an honour for the committee involved in selecting the recipients. The resilience of families was inspiring, as they overcame the loss of friends and family from COVID, in addition to job loss, which impacted the ability to pay for sports. With our focus being on helping to support and grow girls hockey, we were thrilled to read about the passion girls had to get out onto the ice, including in many non-traditional hockey areas. Many girls playing on all-boys teams, or having to travel for 1+ hours to play with all-girls, and so many playing in hand me down equipment from older brothers. Finally, kudos to the NHL teams for their youth hockey programs, as we saw many applicants from players within those programs, growing the girls game. We wanted to help as many as possible, and are thrilled to share a few of the stories from the winners. It's our hope that many families see themselves in these applicants, and continue to encourage their kids to grow that passion for the game.
On December 23rd, we gathered the recipients on a Zoom call for what they thought was a regular update on the program, but aha!, we were able to surprise them all with Cammi joining to share the news along with stories from her journey. It was terrific to hear the passion for the sport from the girls and their families. We are thrilled to share we had 270 female players between the ages of 4-12 who applied, from an incredible 31 States, and the recipients represent 16 States!
Lennox Manross - Born in 2012 - Pennsylvania - Crawford County Youth Hockey Association
Lennox is the middle child of 3 sisters, who lost her father to malignant melanoma at age 3. Her incredible Mom made it her mission to raise strong girls, both physically and mentally, and Lennox has shown that from her start in the Little Penguins program, where she is one of only 5 girls. She enjoys competing with the boys and outworking them in drills. She’s working with her mom to grow the popularity of the girls game in their community. Way to go, Lennox!
Penelope Schmid - Born in 2010 - Massachusetts - Marshfield
Penny has been on skates since she was 18 months old, using hand me downs from her 3 brothers. Her oldest brother was diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease, which required increasing focus from the family as his symptoms shifted. As everyone settled into a new routine, she had the opportunity to fill in as goalie for the first time and has fallen in love with the position. She asked Santa for new goalie gear this year to help her parents out, and has blossomed with the opportunity to play on girls teams. Have a great 2021 season, Penny!
Jude Gonzalez-Pryor - Born in 2012 - Colorado
Jude has grown up in a single parent household, and started playing hockey at the age of 6. Her dedicated Mom took on two extra part-time jobs to help pay hockey bills, and found the time to volunteer 5 hours a week at the local rink - doing everything parents can do to help their kids stay in the game. Jude always volunteers to help coaches with the smaller kids just learning to skate. Great job, keep it up!
Amelia Arquillano - Born in 2010 - Illinois - Mcfetridge River Dogs
Amelia started her journey thinking her first time on the ice would involve figure skates, but the family schedule didn’t allow for it. That led to a start competing with her younger brother in hockey. In a sport growing it’s diversity, Amelia has felt self-conscious at times due to her height, gender and race. While playing in hand me down equipment, Amelia has worked hard and developed a passion for hockey. We think you’re awesome Amelia, keep up the great work and keep loving getting onto the ice!
Cecilia Piasecki - Born in 2009 - Minnesota - Duluth
Cecilia was always a keen hockey player, but her love of the sport really took off when she switched into a girls program. However, the girls team doesn’t have their own rink, which means higher ice costs. Her parents are creative in finding ways to support her growing love of the game, and growing out of her current gear!
Lucy Richter - Born in 2009 - Nebraska - Lincoln Ice Hockey Association
For the last three years, Lucy has been blazing a trail as the only girl on her team. Her father unfortunately passed away 2.5 years ago, and he loved the sports and watching his kids. She carries that love for the sport with her every time she steps out onto the ice. We’re happy to do what we can to keep her skating as much as possible, way to go, Lucy!
Anna Perkoski - Born in 2010 - Virginia - Charlotte Royals
Anna has spent her fair share of time championing women’s hockey. You are just as likely to see her recruiting girls for her local learn to play program as you are to see her on the ice. Her parents support her efforts and love of the game by traveling three hours to get her to an all-girls travel team in Charlotte, NC from their home in Southwest Virginia. Anna is turning into an incredible ambassador for the game encouraging and including all of the female hockey players she encounters. She is a straight A student off the and ice and hopes to start a hockey blog about a girl playing a non-traditional sport. Fantastic job Anna! Don’t ever give up - your efforts are very important in helping grow the sport for girls!
Eleanor, Jeanine, Rose Medeiros - Triplet Sisters - Born in 2013 - Massachusetts
The Medeiros family has five hockey players on the ice - two boys and 7-year old triplet girls. Mamma Medeiros always wanted to play hockey as a kid, but there had been no girls teams at the time. When they were young the girls were napping in the stands and watching their brothers play. Of course, once they got old enough they graduated to putting on skates themselves, and catching goalies napping with a quick goal. Can’t wait to see all the highlights these girls will create together!
Keira Allard - Born in 2009 - Connecticut - CT Northern Lights
Keira was so keen on hockey she had taught herself to skate watching videos - her Mom was surprised to see her skate off without the walker she had offered her the first time at the rink. Keira has learned to play the game all while dealing with a medical condition that impacts pain sensation and her body temperature. Now after seven years on the ice the videos she has for reference are the ones her proud Mom has shot from the stands. Go Keira!
Trystan, Kailey and Logan Bell - Quadruplets - Born in 2012 - Texas - Dallas Stars
While most hockey families can work in some hand-me-down gear from older siblings, the Bell family has quadruplets! The eight-year-olds—three sisters and one brother—all play in the same league and love being on the ice. Meanwhile, mom and dad have become pros at tying skate laces in assembly line-style. They also usually have to rely on hunting down used gear to outfit their crew, so we just love the big smiles on these girls faces when they have some new gear to sport on the ice!
Watch out world, this looks like an unstoppable line!
McKinsey Harper - Born in 2009 - Texas
It’s impossible to stop McKinsey from skating - whether it’s on the ice, or in rollerblades. Living near the CoAmerica center in Texas means from time to time her and her sister can catch a Dallas Stars event - which only fuels her passion for the sport. McKinsey was adopted when she was 5 years old, and her parents have always love her resilience. Whether it’s standing up for her younger sister, or playing on the ice, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Go get ‘em, McKinsey!
Rhaya Nestor - Born in 2011 - Washington - Washington Wild Female Hockey Association
Rhaya started off her hockey career as many do, in the local learn to skate program when she was 4 years old with her Dad (great family memories!). Now that she's older she loves to help her little brother on the ice. She loved meeting new friends, and it was after a hat trick that things really clicked for her. She started looking at hockey role models like Cammi for inspiration and seeing how they got to where they are now. She’s training and working as hard as she can to follow in their footstep as she takes to the ice with the Washington Wild this season. Keep up the amazing work, Rhaya!
Addisyn Fernandez - Born in 2010 - Vermont - Dynamo Hockey Club
Addisyn has made a AAA team and is the only girl on her team. With three younger siblings in a one income home, it can be tricky sometimes to find the time and the means for everyone to get something they can call their own. She has big dreams for hockey, and we can’t wait to see how far she goes!
Della Maxwell - Born in 2015 - Massachusetts - Marshfield Youth Hockey
Della is a tenacious player on the ice - where she is small for her age she doesn't hesitate to take on players twice her size. She purses her dreams with as much gusto as she hustles after the puck. Della is an incredible kid, adopted at 4 days old and playing as one of the only black players in Marshfield hockey, she is a true inspiration to many and helping to grow the diversity the game needs. Della, so proud of you, and just like your Mom, we are cheering for you as you keep breaking through those barriers and inspire many others to play the game!
Allyson Wasson - Born in 2009 - Pennsylvania - South Hills Hockey Association and Pittsburgh Penguins
You could be forgiven for mistaking Allyson for three people. After all, she currently plays six days a week across three different teams. She started hockey at four, and adores the sport. Her parents put in a lot of time getting her to games and tournaments, and are proud of the results of the teamwork she’s learned - supporting her teammates both on and off the ice. Ally plays 14U girls and 12U AA boys for SHAHA along with AAA 12U girls for Penguins Elite. In 2016, Ally was chosen to be a honorary bench coach for Team Hilary Knight for the first ever NWHL All Star Game. Great job, Allyson!
Anna Hoose - Born in 2008 - New York - Canton youth hockey
Hailing from a small town in Upstate New York,Anna is in a single parent household, and the the logistics of getting to hockey can sometimes be a challenge, but her mom sees the impact it has on both her attitude and school - so as any sports parent know, it’s worth it all at the end of the day. Hockey helps her excel in school - a real future leader!
Ava Davis - Born in 2010 - Florida - Girls Alliance 12U
Ava is a true team player in every sense of the word. She is selfless, both on and off the ice, and she strives to be a truly coachable player. She works hard to be a strong student and a great teammate. As the sport of hockey finds it’s roots in Florida, she is determined to not only improve as a player, but to grow the sport in her area. This year she’s playing on the Florida Girls Alliance 12U team, as well as playing on a second 10U boys team. Keep growing the sport in the Sunshine State, Ava!
Olivia Rizzitello - Born in 2011 - Medfield, MA and Spitfires
Olivia plays goalie for the Spitfires and her home town of Medfield, MA. Olivia has found an unexpected source of support within hockey. The team environment that hockey provides has made an unbelievable impact on Olivia. Hockey has taught Olivia teammate skills while creating new friendships. Keep up the great work, Olivia, we’re proud of you!
Olivia Haight - Born in 2013 - Tennessee - Nashville Predators
With hockey being interrupted where she lives, Olivia has been determined to keep her skills up. Dedicated and hard working, she practices on dry land, while eagerly awaiting the chance to see her friends again on the ice. While she loves the sport, the community and friendship is what she says she misses the most. Great job, Olivia!
Kassandra Enos - Born in 2010 - New York - New Jersey Colonials
While Kassandra’s parents weren’t hockey players themselves growing up, they could see the passion and dedication she has for the sport. That’s why when her team out of West Point closed for the year, they moved mountains to make sure she had a place to play, even though it meant hundreds of miles of weekly travel to play in Morristown, where she made and leads a team of majors. With the distance, the family sometimes spends hours in the parking lot in between games rather than travel back and forth. Those are lifelong positive memories, we have no doubt! A testament to the community that has been built, the first people the family thanks are the other families, who have welcomed Kassandra with open arms. Hockey is family!
Kinsley Ruttkofsky - Born in 2011 - Michigan
Kinsley has been in learn to play programs for several years, and this year had the opportunity to be on her first ever team. Equipment has been harder to come by in a single parent household, where her amazing Mom does everything she can to make sure she can be on the ice as much as she’d like. Kinsley loves the game and is putting so much effort into improving, while enjoying the time with her teammates. We’re so pleased to encourage her to continue on her journey!
Natalie Hopper - Born in 2013 - Wisconsin - Elmbrook
It’s amazing to see the world come full circle, as Natalie’s Dad attended a hockey camp with the Granato family as a youth skater, and we’re now thrilled to support Natalie as she falls in love with the sport. Whether it’s pond hockey, practices or games, Natalie works so hard to be the best she can be for her U8 Elmbrook Eagles. Great job, Natalie!
Braedyn Lewis - Born in 2010 - Texas
For Braedyn, hockey has been a passion for the past 2 years, where she wouldn't miss practice, even for her own birthdays. She has lost several family members close to her, including recently her grandfather due to COVID, and it’s on the ice where she finds real peace. She takes the time to inspire, encourage and coach kids younger than her to take up the game, helping grow the Dallas Stars hockey program, and is currently playing with a 10UAA boys travel team. Braedyn, your passion for the game is so inspiring, both for your parents and for us - congratulations and keep being amazing!
Clare Van Dewater - Born in 2010 - New York - Amherst Youth Hockey
Clare is in her first year of hockey, playing in her brother’s hand me down equipment. As the only girl on her team, she focuses on a fantastic team-first attitude, making her parents and her coach so proud when they see her flying around on the ice. Congrats Clare!
Catherine (Born 2010) & Gabriella (Born 2012) Schreiber - Illinois
Catherine and Gabriella have always been huge hockey fans, and were introduced to the sport by Kendall Coyne’s brother. Kendall became a role model for them, as they saved up to attend her PWHPA camp. Being on the ice allowed the sisters to develop leadership skills, as Catherine gained confidence to help overcome shyness, and Gabriella developed her drive and work ethic. Sports teaches tremendous leadership skills, and we’re proud to include the Schreiber’s in this first group of recipients - along with a big thank you to their Mom who has been on the frontlines of COVID as a nurse practioner. Thank you for all you do!
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