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RiverKings Ready for 8th Face off Field Trip

January 20, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Mississippi RiverKings News Release

SOUTHAVEN,MS --- They're coming.....More than 8,000 youth 3rd-6th grade are scheduled to arrive Tuesday, Jan. 25 at the DeSoto Civic Center for the 8th Annual RiverKings Face Off Field Trip, in which the hockey team staff will convert the arena into the coolest classroom in the Mid-South and the youngsters will see the RiverKings take on the Bloomington PrairieThunder.

"There are several teams in the league who do a ‘Kids' Day' game, but our Face Off Field Trip is unique because of the strong educational emphasis," RiverKings Community Development Coordinator Whitley Rives said. "In addition to a full-color, 32-page workbook that uses hockey to teach everything from parts of speech to math, physics, and healthy choices, all the game stoppages are tailored to kids and education. Imagine a really huge educational game show."

The event is extremely popular with schools from across the region. "This year, we had to turn away more than 2,500 students simply because of space constraints, but those schools will be contacted first next year for the opportunity to attend," Rives said.

The mission, Rives said, is to use hockey and sports to energize students about the things they are learning every day. Bottom line: fun learning. "When we say it's the coolest classroom in the Mid-South, we're not just referring to the temperature on the ice," she said.

"The goal is to use this 2 ½ hour event to introduce and reinforce principles taught in the schools' core curriculum of math, science, geography, social studies and English, through a medium of live entertainment and sports.

"This extends even to recruiting our players to star in funny educational videos based on the workbook exercises. They are such good sports, and we have them do some really silly things to illustrate the concepts, such as dress up in silly costumes to ‘travel' to other countries, or body checking each other to demonstrate the physics principle of force.

"Truly, it is an incredible experience. The wonder and excitement of the students is almost tangible. It's also pretty loud," she adds with a laugh, as every child is armed not only with a good set of lungs, but also a large RiverKings noisemaker.

Community supporters can help by sponsoring blocks of students to attend the game in increments of 10 students at $50 or 20 students at only $100. Sponsors of 20 or more students who contact the office by Friday, Jan. 21 will be recognized on the video score board during the game.

Lead sponsors for this year's Field Trip include BancorpSouth, Belhaven University and Maddox Foundation; other sponsors include Chuck Strong of Piano's Flowers & Gifts, Marc Thomas at FedEx, Michael Street of Michael's Dental Laboratory, Stanley Mills of Equitax, James Ward of Helix Drinks, Jefferey Mayhew at International Paper, Staci Mixson of Geico, Ryan England of State Farm Insurance, Scott Burnett of All Points, Jennifer Willegus of Edward Jones Investments of Hernando, Barry Bouchillon of State Farm Insurance, Pat Nelson of Entergy, Domino's Pizza/Davis Pizza Enterprises, Inc. (Southaven and Horn Lake restaurants); Angie Hick and Hernando Main St. Chamber of Commerce, Carolyn Tisdale of Catholic Charities of West TN, Krispy Kreme, Chick-Fil-A, Jean Eubanks, Kris Davidson, June Orman, Martin Fletcher, Scott Beatty, Richard Clark, Teri Epler, John Mayo, and Karen Oravis.

For more information about sponsoring students to attend this event or about RiverKings fundraising, other programs for nonprofits, or ticket information, please contact the RiverKings office at 662.342.1755.

Maddox Hockey, Inc. is a for-profit entity created by the Maddox Foundation as a program-related investment to further the Foundation's charitable work and promote tourism and economic development in the region, including the viability of the Desoto Civic Center. The RiverKings are supported by the team's fans, season ticket holders, corporate partners and program-related investments of the Foundation.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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