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01-25-2013

Clarkson University Women's Hockey Game February 1 to Benefit Helping Hands

At each home game, the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey Team looks out from the ice and sees the support of its North Country fans. 

Clarkson Women's Hockey players Carly Mercer (top) and Danielle Skirrow lend a hand at Helping Hands of Potsdam.The players want to give back to the community that has always supported them, so all ticket revenue when they host St. Lawrence University at 3 p.m. Friday, February 1, in Cheel Arena will benefit Helping Hands of Potsdam Inc. The game will also include a friendly competition between Clarkson President Tony Collins and St. Lawrence University President William L. Fox between periods.

"Potsdam has been home for me for four years now and the community has always offered amazing support to our team and our school,” forward Danielle Skirrow ’13 of Trenton, Ontario, said. “When we realized the opportunity we had to return that support, we jumped at it.”



The Hannawa Falls-based charity provides food, utility assistance, firewood, furniture, housewares, car repairs, counseling and referrals to those St. Lawrence County residents in need. Game tickets are $4; attendees are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate.

Front row (left to right): Emily Horn, Danielle Skirrow, Ella Matteucci, Christine Lambert. Vanessa Gagnon, Shelby Nisbet, Hailey Wood, Brittany Styner, Hannah Zeiger, and Mattie Tremper. Back row: Carly Mercer, Renata Fast, Cayley Mercer, Olivia Howe, Shannon MacAulay, Erica Howe, Jennifer Shields, Vanessa Plante, Taylor Gedig, Taylor Razis, and Kari Tremper.“The funds and food items collected at next weekend’s game will help us keep countless North Country families warm, safe and fed this winter,” said Tom Chappell, Helping Hands executive director.

“A $4 hockey ticket may not seem like a large donation,” Skirrow added. “But when an entire community buys those tickets and packs Cheel, that $4 will go a long way toward helping St. Lawrence County’s less fortunate.”

The hockey team first volunteered at Helping Hands over winter break by painting the inside of its furniture and household items warehouse, formerly the Hannawa Falls United Methodist Church. Players wanted to step beyond their routine of twice-daily hockey practice during break to volunteer, according to goaltender Jenna Boss ’15 of Little Canada, Minn.

The team was assisted by a group of local children known as the "Lil 'Knights," who take part in other events with the women.

Lil' Helpers lend a hand to the Clarkson Women's Hockey Team at Helping Hands of Potsdam. Front row (left to right): Maddie Tremper, Taylor Razis and Hannah Zenger. Top: Clarkson Women's Hockey player Vanessa Gagnon.“We love that they come to our games and they support us so much,” Boss said of the surrounding community. “We think it’s our duty to give back somehow. We care just as much about them as they do about us.”

The players enjoyed the service experience so much that they decided to plan Friday’s fundraiser, according to forward Vanessa Gagnon ’14 of St. Constant, Quebec.

“Working with this foundation is a good reminder for all of us that sometimes the goals we don't score in a game aren’t that big of a deal when you realize how privileged we are to just be able to practice the sport we love every day,” Gagnon said.

The women’s hockey team has a responsibility to be a positive influence in the community, Gagnon said.

“My main goal is to leave Clarkson and have this event continue,” Gagnon said. “The whole idea is to show a simple gesture like attending a game can help families in need. When every individual of a community does a simple action to help someone, it can make a huge difference. No matter who you are, every day should be a new day to lend a hand to a neighbor.”

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo captions:

helping-hands-1.jpg: The Clarkson Women's Hockey Team and their "Lil' Helpers" at Helping Hands of Potsdam Inc. in Hannawa Falls, N.Y. Front row (left to right): Emily Horn, Danielle Skirrow, Ella Matteucci, Christine Lambert. Vanessa Gagnon, Shelby Nisbet, Hailey Wood, Brittany Styner, Hannah Zeiger, and Mattie Tremper. Back row: Carly Mercer, Renata Fast, Cayley Mercer, Olivia Howe, Shannon MacAulay, Erica Howe, Jennifer Shields, Vanessa Plante, Taylor Gedig, Taylor Razis, and Kari Tremper.

helping-hands-2.jpg: Clarkson Women's Hockey players Carly Mercer (top) and Danielle Skirrow lend a hand at Helping Hands of Potsdam.

helping-hands-3.jpg: "Lil' Helpers" lend a hand to the Clarkson Women's Hockey Team at Helping Hands of Potsdam. Front row (left to right): Maddie Tremper, Taylor Razis and Hannah Zenger. Top: Clarkson Women's Hockey player Vanessa Gagnon.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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