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04-05-2011

Hockey Day in Potsdam Raises Over $9,000 to Benefit Marine Cpl. Aaron Howell of Parishville, N.Y.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/hockey-day.jpg .]

The first-ever Hockey Day in Potsdam, earlier this year, raised $9,460 to benefit Marine Cpl. Aaron Howell, a Parishville, N.Y., native who is recovering from serious wounds suffered in the line of duty last April.

Clarkson University President Tony Collins (left) and SUNY Potsdam President John F. Schwaller (right) present proceeds from the benefit games to Dave Howell, Aaron’s father.Hockey fans bought a benefit ticket good for admission on January 29 to three different North Country men’s ice hockey games hosted by the Clarkson University Golden Knights, the SUNY Potsdam Bears and the Potsdam Central High School Sandstoners. Fans and local businesses also made additional contributions and pledges to a special fund for Howell during the spring season.

Massena native John B. Wing, and his wife, Resa, matched all local donations through Operation Grateful Nation, a private foundation they founded to build sustainable futures for disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Operation Grateful Nation focuses on services and programs to assist amputees and paralysis victims who deserve extraordinary support for their heroic sacrifices. Last April, Howell lost both legs and suffered other wounds when a mortar round exploded near him while on patrol in Afghanistan. A Marine since 2007, he also has served a tour in Iraq. 

Speaking on behalf of all the Hockey Day organizers, Clarkson University President Tony Collins said, “We owe so much to the men and women from the North Country who serve our country with distinction and personal sacrifice. We need to do everything we can to show them our support and help them lead full and productive lives when they return from service. We are appreciative of the hockey fans who came out in force for this event and to the Wings for taking the initiative to help returning veterans like Cpl. Howell. ” 

"I am so very proud that SUNY Potsdam played a key role in Hockey Day in Potsdam,” said SUNY Potsdam President John F. Schwaller. “It provided an opportunity to showcase our strong, competitive hockey program, while helping to raise funds to support a local soldier. We are pleased to support Cpl. Howell and draw attention to the sacrifices made by our nation's troops. We look forward to continuing this worthwhile initiative next year."

Howell is the son of Grace and David Howell of Parishville. If you wish to add to the funds raised for this benefit, please contact Scott Smalling, associate athletic director at Clarkson University, at 315-268-6473 or ssmallin@clarkson.edu. To learn more about Operation Grateful Nation, go to http://www.operationgratefulnation.org

Photo caption: The first-ever Hockey Day in Potsdam, earlier this year, raised $9,460 to benefit Marine Cpl. Aaron Howell, a Parishville, N.Y., native who is recovering from serious wounds suffered in the line of duty last April. Above, Clarkson University President Tony Collins (left) and SUNY Potsdam President John F. Schwaller (right) present proceeds from the benefit games to Dave Howell, Aaron’s father.

[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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