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Hockey Team Skates With Special Friends
Hockey players and their new friends on the ice
On Friday, February 23, the Bethel Park High School Varsity Ice Hockey Team skated with some special Bethel Park School District students in grades K-6 at the YMCA ice rink!
Each player was paired up with a student and the players helped the students to put on their skates and to get on the ice.  For the students who did not want to skate by themselves, they were pushed around the ice on plastic chairs by the players.  With smiles on everyone's faces, it was extremely difficult to determine who was having more fun--the students or the hockey players!
After an hour of skating, everyone had lunch together in the YMCA lobby, served by the hockey players.  Bethel Park Hockey purchased the pizzas, and the teachers and parents of the students brought in snacks, cookies and drinks for everyone to enjoy. 
At the end of the event, the students proudly presented the team with banners that they made, to wish them luck in their quest for the 2018 Penguins Cup.
Bethel Park School District Adaptive Physical Education Teacher Linda Graney began this event 18 years ago to bring Bethel Park students together in a community setting, to build skills for students with disabilities and help them to develop a life-long love for fitness.  Over the years, meaningful relationships have been built between the students and the players, as they look forward to seeing each other at this annual event.  The hockey players also learn about patience and understanding others through their participation in this activity.
Thanks to Jim Lybarger and the Spencer Family YMCA for their generous donation of the ice time and the skates.  Thanks also to Coach Jim McVay and the BPHS Hockey Team for their commitment to continuing this meaningful activity.
Please click here to see some photos from this great event!