Annual charity hockey match pits lawmakers against lobbyists to benefit at-risk youth.
By Jill A. Norris
Ask a politician or lobbyist if they would like to be on thin ice and you won’t get a very positive response– unless, of course, you are talking about the Congressional Hockey Challenge (CHC), where, over the past three years, federal lawmakers, Congressional staff and administrative officials have been competing against federal lobbyists in an annual charitable ice hockey game. This year, CHC has teamed up with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), which supports and represents nearly 300,000 students throughout their 47 member schools, for the first time to support a new academic scholarship for at-risk youths and participants of the National Hockey League‘s (NHL) Hockey is for Everyone (HIFE) program. Over the past three years, CHC has raised nearly $200,000 for inner-city children.
This year the game will take place at the Verizon Center home of the NHL’s Washington Capitals. The Lawmakers haven’t won since CHC debuted in 2009. The Lobbyists have been dominating. Hard to skate around the political jokes with those facts, but we will.
“I’m looking forward to getting out on the ice. It’s an opportunity to have a little fun and some friendly competition, all while supporting a great cause,” said CHC veteran, Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA). According to Meehan, the Lawmakers have also made “strong additions” to their team and will be ready to take down the Lobbyists. Kind of like earmarks.
In addition to the game, the event also includes a silent auction featuring NHL and Washington Capitals memorabilia, trip and hotel vouchers, and other prizes. There is a suggested $10 donation at the door. All money collected from the the auction and door donations goes to the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, home of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, the oldest NHL-recognized inner city youth development ice hockey program in North America.
The event is co chaired by U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), and Reps. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN). “I’m excited to participate for the second year in a row in this great event. Supporting a charity that will benefit future leaders and using hockey as a vehicle to inspire bipartisanship and teamwork to solve problems in Washington is always rewarding,” explained Rep. Bucshon.
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