The Devils organization celebrated a day of service on August 7 with DREAM Newark according to a press release put out on the team’s official site.
DREAM (formerly Harlem RBI according to the press release) “continued its partnership with the New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center and The Harris Family Charitable Foundation with a day of service and celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 7 in Newark.”
DREAM was recognizing Devils owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer “for their commitment to the community.” The day featured activities which showed how sports and education can positively influence kids. According to the press release, a press conference, media availability and youth enrichment activities were held.
The release also said that DREAM Newark is run by Harris and Blitzer and that the two are long time supporters of the DREAM initiative.
It also said that The Harris Family Charitable Foundation helped to “fund a grant to DREAM Network for a literacy program, as well as to provide youth access to the powerful benefits of playing baseball and softball.” Both Harris and Blitzer “have contributed significantly to supporting DREAM’s infrastructure and ability to reach thousands of youth in our area each year.”
In other hockey news, we would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends and fans of hockey legend Stan Mikita. The Hockey Hall of Famer and Chicago Blackhawk great passed away earlier today at the age of 78. Mr. Mikita played his entire 22-year NHL career with the Blackhawks, retiring in 1980. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. He was also named one of the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players in 2017 during the league’s centennial celebrations.
After immigrating to Canada with his aunt and uncle (leaving behind his mother and father) following the communist takeover of his native Czechoslovakia in 1948 when he was just eight years old, Mikita (born Stanislav Gvoth – he later took his aunt and uncle’s last name) settled in St. Catharines, Ontario.
In St. Catharines, he quickly took to the game of hockey. He was signed by the Blackhawks when he was just 13 years old and played for the Hawks’ Ontario Hockey Association affiliate, the St. Catharines Teepees. He was called up to Chicago at 19 years old in 1958-59, beginning a career that would see him win the Hart Trophy twice (1967 and 1968), the Art Ross Trophy four times (1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968), the Lady Byng Trophy twice (1967 and 1968) and the Stanley Cup in 1961. He was also an eight time all-star.
He is the Blackhawks’ all-time leader in games played (1,394), assists (926) and points (1,467). His number 21 was retired by the Blackhawks.
For a younger generation, he will be remembered for his appearance in the movie Wayne’s World in 1992. The movie took place in the Chicago area and featured a donut shop named after him as a parody of the real-life Tim Horton’s donut chain.
Once again, our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. Mikita in this tough time.