Abram Fox, friend of the blog and contributor to the DC Sports Box, recently wrote to us asking if we could promote the Leap Towards a Cure Charity Hockey Tournament happening this Friday and Saturday at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD. As a former art student myself, Abram’s story below particularly affected me. If any of you are free this weekend, I highly encourage you to attend the event and give to a great cause.
Earlier this year the local youth hockey community lost an unsung hero when Andrea “Froggy” Henderson, long-time art teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD, passed away from complications from breast cancer. For three decades Froggy inspired students with her open heart and open mind, encouraging them to reach their fullest potential and opening her classroom to anyone who needed a safe haven or shoulder to lean on.
In 1998, while the Caps worked towards a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, Froggy listened to a group of those inspired young students (yours truly among them) who were looking for a sponsor for a club ice hockey team at ERHS. Even though she had no connections to ice hockey whatsoever, she saw something in those young kids and agreed to sponsor a school team.
From 1998 through 2008 Froggy served as faculty sponsor, friend, and advocate for the ERHS Ice Raiders, providing a guiding hand for the team through its inception, recognition by the school as a varsity sport, and ongoing growth. Nearly 100 young men and women, many of whom had never played organized ice hockey before – some of whom had never even held a hockey stick in their hands prior to trying out for the team – built lasting connections to the sport of ice hockey under Froggy’s stewardship.
A group of ERHS ice hockey alumni have organized Leap Towards A Cure, a charity hockey tournament in Froggy’s memory that is raising money for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and research. The inaugural year’s proceeds will be donated to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
Leap Towards A Cure is taking place on August 6 and 7 at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD (13800 Old Gunpowder Road, Laurel, MD 20707). Tournament games are taking place on both days, and Saturday the 7th is a Family Fun Day extravaganza. Between 10 am and 7 pm there will be a free breakfast and lunch, family games like a shooting cage and obstacle courses, a silent auction, art gallery of work by Froggy’s students, mascot appearances, dinner by Outback Steakhouse, and an ERHS alumni game.
Admission to the tournament is 100% free, as is access to everything going on except the catered dinner (which will be cheap). The goal of Leap Towards A Cure is to honor Froggy’s memory not just by raising money for cancer research and treatment, but to create a fun and welcoming environment for families and bridge the gap between the hockey world and the local community at large.
I asked the fine folks here at RMNB for a soapbox from which to invite you, the reader, to come to our tournament and help celebrate Froggy’s life and local hockey. If you’re interested in playing in the tournament, donating, or volunteering, that’s fantastic and you can contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Really, though, we just want you to be aware and to show up and have a great time.
Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you soon!
Abram Fox, ERHS ‘01