Worcester Railers HC Win 2019-20 ECHL Community Service Award
WORCESTER, MA Â - TheÂ Worcester Railers Hockey Club (@RailersHC), proudÂ ECHLÂ (@ECHL) affiliate of theÂ New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) announced today that they have been awarded theÂ 2019-20 ECHL Community Service Award at the virtual ECHL League Meetings on June 24. This is the second straight year that the Railers have received the award.Â
The Worcester Railers HC have been selected as the winner ofÂ the 2019-20 ECHL Community Service Award in recognition of their commitment on being a leader in the greater Worcester community. Back in March, Railers defensemanÂ Connor Doherty received theÂ 2019-20 ECHL Community Service Player Award .Â
"It is quite an honor to receive this award for the second straight year,"Â said Railers COO Mike Myers.Â "It is a full team effort starting with our owners Cliff and Susan Rucker, our front office staff led by Paul Harris, our interns, hockey staff and players, corporate partners and members, the Worcester Railers HC Booster Club, and our mascot TRAX. We are honored to receive this award and strive for three in a row next year as we continue on with our community first mentality."
The Worcester Railers HC, through the Worcester Railers HC Foundation, donated over $250,000 last season and partnered with over 475 local community organizations throughout Central Massachusetts.Â
The Railers flagship community programÂ Skate to Success Â brought over 2,000 Worcester Public School fourth grade students to the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center again last season. The students were taught to skate by players, coaches, staff, and corporate partners, fed lunch, and received a youth jersey and Railers memorabilia at no cost courtesy of The Hanover Insurance Group, Fallon Health, Worcester Business Development Corporation, CCM, AA Transportation, and the Niche Hospitality Group. In addition, 50 graduates of the program received a scholarship for the WIC's learn to skate program.
In collaboration with the Worcester Bravehearts, the Railers visited 16 schools as part of theÂ Ticket to ReadÂ program presented by DCU where TRAX and Railers staff/players read stories to students and encouraged them to read daily, awarding Railers tickets and prizes to students who successfully completed monthly reading logs.Â
In December of 2019, the Railers were awarded theÂ Best Buddies Partner in Expansion Award for their role with the Best Buddies' pre-employment training. The goal of the program is to introduce high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to opportunities in the workforce. The Railers hired a high school best buddy as part of the gameday staff and have also had a best buddy member since season one.Â Â
Despite the season ending abruptly due to COVID-19, the Railers continued to remain active in the community. In April, the Railers launched the Worcester Railers Small Business Stimulus Power Play in which $1,000 worth of gift certificates were purchased to 41 different small businesses located throughout central Massachusetts with partnership through Cornerstone Bank. Over 5,000 nominations were received which included over 600 unique small businesses.Â
As part of theÂ Food For FrontlinersÂ program, the Railers purchased $14,000 worth of food and supplies which was donated to front line workers and local organizations throughout Central Massachusetts with the help of Advantage Truck Group - ATG. In addition, in partnership with the Massachusetts State Lottery, the Railers launched theÂ Healthcare Heroes campaign which recognized the heroic efforts of local health care workers serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.Â
Overall, the Railers mascot TRAX made over 275 public appearances ranging anywhere from schools, hospitals, community festivals, nonprofits, along with member, booster, and charity events. Worcester's community efforts are led by Railers Community Relations Manager Paul Harris and his best friend TRAX.
"The Worcester Railers are community first,"Â said Harris.Â "Our goal every season is to win the ECHL community service award and we are thrilled to have won in back-to-back seasons. I am fortunate to be part of this organization that gives back to the community in a really big way."Â Â
For more information about the Railers HC community programs please visitÂ www.RailersHC.com/community.
The Worcester Railers home opener is Saturday, October 24 vs. the Brampton Beast!Â Stay safe... and for the most up to date information on all things Railers - please visitÂ www.RailersHC.comÂ and follow our social media channels.
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