by Angela Richard
The Jason Ritchie ’05 Hockey Foundation Day and Bruins Alumni hockey game against the Winchendon School / Ritchie Foundation All-Stars held on Saturday, February 2 at the Ice Arena brought in the largest crowd ever for a Winchendon School hockey event and fundraiser! It was a sellout with just over 400 in attendance. With over $30,000 raised for the Winchendon School’s Jason Ritchie ’05 Scholarship Fund…it was the largest ever fundraising event for The Winchendon School and funds are still coming in atwww.lifeisenergy.myevent.com. We reached our goal of $20,000 and then leapfrogged to $30,000 and the gifts keep coming.
The event kicked off with the Stu Gould Youth Hockey Goalie Clinic in partnership with Tom Patty and his on-campus goalie clinic along with the assistance of Varsity women’s ice hockey coach Jacques Delorme and Jarrett Sampson, men’s ice hockey coach and players from the Winchendon School men’s varsity hockey team. About 16 youth hockey goalies from the local community received expert coaching and a free clinic. Tom Patty is Winchendon’s men’s Varsity assistant coach and former goalie at AIC and Stu Gould is the owner of Good As Gould Hockey School. The clinic proved successful and fun for youngsters of all ages. The success of the clinic did not go unnoticed by Donna Ritchie, founder of the Jason Ritchie Hockey Foundation Scholarship, who had this to say, “A thank you to Stu Gould, Tom Patty and their goalie camp…it was a fantastic morning with the kids,” she said. One fan added, “Goalie clinic was great… Hope they do it again next year.”
Next, the Winchendon School All-Stars had the opportunity to warm up before facing their formidable opponents the Boston Bruins Alumni team. Alumni, faculty, staff, parents and players laced up for a fun pre-game warm up. A special thanks to Scott Kukis ’04, Alumni Relations Coordinator and the 20 Winch Alums who came out and participated in this event.
By mid afternoon, the Winchendon School Men’s Varsity team played against Albany Academy with a final score of 3-0 for Winchendon and a shutout win for Simon Jasmin ‘13. Goals were scored by Thomas Quinlan ’13, Nicolas Potvin ’14 and an empty net goal by Colin Clapton ’13. The team stepped up to secure the win and the game proved to be payback for a game loss in a previous outing to Albany. It was nice to come away with a huge win on such a special day in our own arena.
Shortly after the game against Albany, fans started pouring into the Jason Ritchie ’05 Ice Arena for the much-anticipated Boston Bruins Alumni Benefit game. Excitement began to erupt by kids of all ages when the famous Bruins legends of hockey Rick Middleton and Terry O’Reilly entered the building. As the bleachers began to fill with joyous fans, Petey the Wapiti and Boston Bruins mascot, Blades delighted the younger crowd who flocked their side for photos and skated for the crowd. A special thanks to the Bruins’ cheerleaders for selling raffle tickets to support the Scholarship Fund.
Throughout the day, Ritchie Hockey founders Donna and Bob Ritchie, son Jon, and Ritchie Foundation board member Meghan Kelly (of Lisa Miller and Associates out of Tallahassee, Florida) and major sponsor, watched all the events as they unfolded. Just before the Bruins Alumni were about to take the ice, Bob entered the locker room and thanked each and every Bruin for their participation and the importance of the Foundation’s mission to provide resources and mentoring to deserving youth who share in Jason’s drive and dedication and love of hockey. Jon said, “Jason would have been jealous of this event. He would have loved to be playing today.”
The evening began with a pre-game ceremony with John Kerney escorting the Ritchie Family and Foland Family to center ice for the presentation of the commemorative All-Star jerseys. Nick Foland, varsity hockey captain and 2012-13 recipient of the Jason Ritchie Scholarship award and parents Lisa and Marc Foland presented each Ritchie Family member with a commemorative Winchendon/Ritchie Foundation All-Star jersey and a very special #30 jersey in memory of Jason Ritchie ’05.
Wilbur Bullock from Hubbardston sang the National Anthem beautifully and then the ceremonial face-off occurred with Bruins Alumni, Rick Middleton, president of the Boston Bruins Alumni Association facing off for the Bruins Alumni and for Winchendon facing off was legendary coach, teacher and honorary captain Jacques Delorme. The Ritchie family dropped the ceremonial puck and the much-anticipated game began.
The first period proved a very even match for both teams as each put points on the board. The proficient goal-minding of Thomas Patty kept the game very close at hand. Winchendon’s very own Adam
Letarte ’15 also scored a goal for the Bruins Alumni team. Kyle Konin ’16 also had some key saves for Winchendon to keep the game competitive. Adam and Kyle were drafted by their respective teams and gifts were given to underwrite their participation on the team.
During intermission, Bruins legends signed autographs on shirts, jerseys, and program booklets. Even Winchendon’s Adam Letarte had requests for autographs by some eager young fans. Despite some key goals by Winchendon, the Bruins Alumni answered the call and gained momentum in the second and third periods with a final score of 9-5. “The spirit and energy on and off the ice was fabulous,” says Donna Ritchie. She went on to say that this event is “what Jason would have loved…the sense of community, the School, the players, having fun, and helping those in need and reaching out to others.”
Happy faces in the crowd and those leaving the rink were a clear indication of the excitement and success of the day’s events.
Patrick Tevlin, Director of Development thanked the generosity of the patrons, major sponsors, donors, All-Star hockey players, the Boston Bruins Alumni team, our parents and alumni, especially the Ritchie Family and Foundation, and our hockey student-athletes of the Winchendon School….they’re the real winners.” He went on to say, “The memory and legacy of Jason Ritchie ’05 lives on…” He concluded with, “It was a great day for skating enthusiasts of all levels and interest, an outstanding way to remember and carry forward the spirit of our Alumnus, Jason Ritchie ’05.” As Jason would say, “Life is Energy!”
Bob Ritchie, father of Jason ’05 and JRHSF founder also thanked those who made this memorable event possible. “Thanks to the team of Meghan Kelly & Lisa Miller, Scott [Kukis ’04, Alumni Relations Coordinator], Patrick and the Foundation – the four quadrants who scored a hat trick with the planning and execution of this special day,” he said. Both he, Donna and the Ritchie Foundation said that this was just a building block towards our higher goal of “helping those in need and reaching out to others.”
For a complete team roster, donation summary and participants, go towww.lifeisenergy.myevent.com.
Thanks to our Sponsors
Guy Carpenter, Ritchie Hockey Foundation, The Winchendon School, Ann & Colin Clapton P’13, Britt Newhouse, Donna & Bob Ritchie P’05, Kevin Stokes, David Bartlett, Sylvie Miclette & Pierre Champigny P’13, Chantal & Alain Jasmin P’13, Tim Meenan, and Jon Ritchie & Abby Smith
Thanks to the All-Stars Team
Scott Kukis ‘04
Cameron O’Brien ‘09
Tony Ruschioni ‘04
Andrew Usas ‘03
Michael MacLure ‘06
Harrison Durfee ‘11
Evan Dube ‘05
Matthew Paget ‘04
Marc Veneziano ‘04
Edward Murphy ‘03
Jean-Guy Letarte P’15
Marc Foland P’13
Alain Jasmin P’13
Daniel Chretien P’13
Patrick Tevlin P’14
Kyle Konin ‘16
About the JRHSF
The Jason Ritchie Hockey Scholarship Foundation http://www.ritchiehockeyfoundation.org/ was established by the Ritchie family in memory of Jason Ritchie who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2009. The Foundation’s mission is to provide resources and mentoring to deserving youth who share in Jason’s drive and dedication. Funded exclusively by individual and corporate donations as well as grant funding from other services, the Foundation focuses on helping children realize their dreams by providing them the tools needed to succeed. http://www.ritchiehockeyfoundation.org/howtogive.html