SOURCE: Hasek's Heroes

Hasek's Heroes

April 05, 2012 14:53 ET

2012 'Tim Hortons Backyard Classic' Ice Hockey Tournament Raises $11,300 for Buffalo Inner City Hockey Organization, Hasek's Heroes

BUFFALO, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 5, 2012) - Hasek's Heroes (Buffalo, NY) (www.haseksheroes.org), an organization founded by NHL great and former Buffalo Sabre Dominik Hasek, which introduces city youth to ice hockey and life skills, has announced $11,300 was raised at the 4th Annual Tim Hortons Backyard Classic ice hockey tournament (www.timhortonsbackyardclassic.com). These funds will be used to purchase new equipment and expand the organization's programs and community outreach in Buffalo.

The initial Backyard Classic hockey tournament was founded in 2009 by East Amherst, New York resident Nicholas Penberthy, currently a freshman at SUNY Cortland (www.cortland.edu). For the last three years, the tournament was played on Penberthy's East Amherst, NY backyard ice rink, which his family sets up each winter at their home. In 2011, it was expanded to a second Williamsville, NY location hosted by Chris Taggart, who serves as Co-Chair of the event. In 2012, the event was renamed the Tim Hortons Backyard Classic thanks to the generous support of Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shop (www.timhortons.com).

Nicholas stated, "It was a challenging winter, the backyard ice rinks never froze, which caused the event to be played as a street hockey tournament. Then on the day of our event, the winds reached 60 mph. We had trouble keeping the nets in place!" He continued, "Despite the adverse weather, we had players and sponsors come out and made the 2012 event a success."

Sean Green, Executive Director of Hasek's Heroes, explained, "This annual tournament has resulted in hundreds of inner city youth being introduced to the game of ice hockey, in addition to providing great community exposure for our organization. Since its founding, the tournament is one of our leading fundraisers, providing more than $28,000 to Hasek's Heroes."

Penberthy is currently an Honors College student at SUNY Cortland, pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. He stated, "I believe a teacher has a responsibility to not only educate, but also help provide opportunities and experiences to students that they may not normally have access to. I have seen the growth of the kids in the Hasek's program and am looking forward to bringing these experiences into my own classroom one day."

Taggart added, "With the involvement of Tim Hortons, the tournament is seeking to expand its reach to simultaneously playing hockey on more backyard ice rinks across Western New York and making it a regional fundraising effort to further grow these inner city hockey programs."

Green can be reached at Hasek's Heroes, 2607 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY or 716-875-4820.

About Hasek's Heroes: Hasek's Heroes provides a foundation of athletic development and educational support, enabling children from low-to-moderate-income families achieve their future life goals. It provides them the opportunity to learn basic skating and hockey skills and, for those with the aptitude and commitment, the opportunity to participate in the tiered hockey development program. Hasek's Heroes works in partnership with the Buffalo Schools to promote academic achievement as an integral component of athletics.

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