Mason Ice Hockey Wins 2014–15 ACHA Community Service Award

Posted: May 4, 2015 at 8:59 am, Last Updated: May 4, 2015 at 11:35 am


Pictured left to right: Asst Coach (and Mason alum) Spencer Wolf, Asst Coach Morgan Munizza, ACHA President Marshall Stevenson, Head Coach Steve Hyjek

The American Collegiate Hockey Association has named Mason Ice Hockey as their Division 3 and National winner for their charitable work.  Out of 211 Division 3 teams and 453 ACHA teams overall, Mason Ice Hockey was recognized for their community service endeavors consisting of  fundraising events and one-on-one work with special needs children.

During the past five years, Mason Ice Hockey has raised between $17,000 and $20,000 for organizations such as Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Mt. Vernon Methodist Church, the Kraus Family Fund and most recently, the DC National Children’s Hospital Oncology Department.

This year, to create a greater understanding of how his team’s efforts affect others, Coach Hyjek, Mason Ice Hockey ‘s head coach, took his team to DC National Children’s Hospital to meet children in the Oncology Department.  While there, they presented each child with a signed t-shirt and hockey puck.  Several weeks later, at their fundraising hockey game, players shaved their heads in support of the children they’d visited.

In addition to their fundraising efforts, coaches and players volunteer at Kettler Capitals Iceplex every Saturday throughout the school year and work one-on-one with special needs children who are learning to skate.  Coach Hyjeck says, “I have always been a huge proponent of giving back to the community and serving those who have been less fortunate.  I think that it is an important lesson for the boys to understand – to take the initiative to help support worthy causes.”

He continues, “These giving back habits become ingrained in them and they carry them through their lives as we have seen with a number of our alumni who volunteer in their communities today.  It also helps them realize just how fortunate we all are. Sometimes we take this for granted.”

Coaches Hyjek, Munizza and Wolf received the Division 3 and National Award at the ACHA General Session Annual Meeting in Naples, FL.,  May 2, 2015.  The next day, during the Club Sports Presidents Council Meeting, the Club also received the newly created Community Service Award decided by the Club Sports Executive Council made up of seven Club Sports student peers.

by Jennifer Lehman, MS RYT