By: Jeremy Goode
Snider Hockey was proud to partner with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Philadelphia Flyers to celebrate the fall season by hosting the Scanlon Community Fall Festival at Scanlon Recreation Center on Thursday, October 28. This community event attracted over 500 guests, including Snider Hockey families and residents from the surrounding neighborhood. Attendees enjoyed a night of family fun with free ice skating, youth crafts, music, food, and a free book fair that featured titles in both English and Spanish.
“I believe functions like this are extremely important for our Foundation and the communities we serve,” Raul Figueroa, Snider Hockey Site Coordinator at Scanlon, said. “Not only does it create a stronger connection with families that live near the rink but it allows us to have a day focused on fun and to offer activities other than hockey that our families can take part in.”
According to Figueroa, the event was created to provide families and community members with a fun and engaging fall afternoon, while also providing an opportunity to present the neighborhood with a future vision of adding an outdoor street hockey rink and completely revamping the playground area at the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation facility.
"Thank you to all the families and partners who joined us for the Scanlon Fall Festival," said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. "Scanlon is a special location for youth and families in this community, and we are honored that our incredible partners at the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and Philadelphia Flyers are making such a significant investment in this site so it can be enjoyed by generations to come."
Additionally, the festival provided Scanlon neighbors an opportunity to learn more about Snider Hockey and all of the programs offered to local youths. As a result, many families were able to pre-register their children to start programming in the near future.
“Events such as these that engage the greater community are critical to meeting the organization’s recruitment goals and sharing the great programming we provide,” Hilary Maggio said, who is the Community Resource Specialist at Snider Hockey. “We do these events to showcase the programming and opportunities we offer and to hopefully encourage more and more families to join the Snider Hockey community.”
According to Snider Hockey President/CEO, Scott Tharp; “It was truly great to see so many people come out to this event and to have a chance to hear from them on how much the services at this recreation center means to their families.”
It was especially important to provide this opportunity at Scanlon, according to Maggio.
“Kensington is a deeply underserved neighborhood faced with many challenges that are more often than not highlighted when discussing the area,” Maggio said. “But it is also a vibrant community full of wonderful families that deserve safe spaces to play, learn, and develop in their neighborhood.”
Snider Hockey Community Outreach Manager, Bridgett Wilkerson, who spent most of the evening interacting with attendees, summarized her experiences at the event by saying “it was a great feeling to see so many smiling faces at the Scanlon Community Fall Festival. I spoke with a few young people from the neighborhood, and they mentioned that although they live nearby, this was their first time ice skating at Scanlon. I am ecstatic about the possibility of new students joining our program after attending the event.”
Festival attendees saw several familiar friends from the Philadelphia Flyers, including Flyers’ Alumni members Brad Marsh and Bob “the Hound” Kelly. Also on hand was popular Flyers’ mascot, Gritty, who stayed busy by giving high-fives and playing street hockey with local youths on the playground. The Flyers table was popular throughout the evening as staffers distributed lots of fun hockey-related giveaway items.
The past 18-months have been a challenging time in Philadelphia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Scanlon Community Fall Festival felt like a return to normalcy according to Maggio. “Seeing the joy on kids’ and parents’ faces when picking out new books, and seeing so many new families show interest in Snider Hockey,” Maggio said. “We were really excited to have so many community members come out to the event in addition to Snider Hockey families.”
Raul Figueroa is excited to return to the rink for the 2021-22 season and is looking forward to welcoming many new students to Scanlon Recreation Center over the next few months. “Snider Hockey has so much to offer and we care about our community and want to do anything we can to show those that live in the areas surrounding our rinks that we are here and want to make sure we have an impact on the lives of children anyway we can,” Figueroa said.