As you know, the entire Stahl family–and many of our team members– are huge hockey fans. But of all the games we’ve ever witnessed or participated in, the game which took place on January 8th, 2022 in St. Clair Shores will forever hold a top spot in our hearts. I’ll let Paul Sabatini and Dan Stahl tell you more about it. We are humbled to have been a part of this inspirational and transformative event. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making it happen. Paul and Dan do a great job of mentioning everyone involved. Please watch the video at the end, it reinforces the importance of helping people experience the thrill of hockey, community participation and the impact a custom jersey can have on someone.
From Paul Sabatini and Dan Stahl
On January 8, 2022 Team Stahls’ and the SCS MI Flyers took the ice at Saint Clair Shores Civic Arena and shared a moment that will last a lifetime.
The SCS MI Flyers was started 26 years ago, and the hockey program is dedicated to the development and enjoyment of hockey for the developmentally or physically challenged athletes. The team consists of players and volunteers from various counties in the southeast areas of Michigan. The Michigan Flyers are affiliated with the St. Clair Shores Hockey Association and USA Hockey.
When Stahls’ was asked if we would like to play in a game against them, it was an automatic YES.
We wanted to make their game day experience something to remember, and it was for all of us!
The game was promoted internally at Stahls’, and externally from the SCS Civic Arena, WXYZ Channel 7 news with Brad Galli, SCS MI Flyers hockey program, Ted Lindsay Foundation, and was also shared socially through everyone’s family, friends, and social connections.
New Uniform Presentation
A new uniform set was created for the SCS MI Flyers and was part of a surprise to the team from Stahls’. (See video below) The jerseys were passed out in the locker room before the game and the smiles and excitement that the players, coaches, and family members from the Flyers showed was an amazing experience to be part of and felt good to represent Stahls’ in this way.
The start included team intros onto the ice for warm-ups with music blasting through the arena, individual player intros were next, and a ceremonial puck drop to begin the game. The Flyers player reactions when their name was called and to skate to the blueline for their introduction was priceless. The game was well attended, and you could hear all that were there to support them on! Additionally, goals and assists were announced and there was also a goal horn played after each goal. Many thanks to Nancy Graves and Juliet Kalmeta for enhancing the game atmosphere with the announcements and music played throughout the game; it made a difference!
We also had a donation box, 50/50 raffle, and game used autograph stick and puck from Detroit Red Wings Danny Dekeyser to help raise funds for the program. Special thanks to Kelli Harvey, Maggie Martin, and the volunteers for helping with this area.
The SCS MI Flyers players, coaching staff, and family members were very thankful for what Stahls’ was doing for their program and the experience we created for their players.
Here are some comments from people involved:
- Paul Doppke – (President of SCS Hockey Association) – Thank you for making this an extremely memorable day for the kids. What Stahls’ does in the community is amazing and always top-notch.
- Brad Galli (WXYZ Channel 7 Sports) – what an amazing day and I was honored to be a part of it. You made many special moments for those players.
- Danny Dekeyser (Detroit Red Wings) – I am glad to be able to provide you with some items to help raise money for the program. I know how special this will be for the kids.
- Frank Taylor (Coach/Founder SCS MI Flyers) – You, Dan, Brad, and the Stahls’ group are the greatest. We can’t thank you enough for what you have done. Our players really enjoyed the game today.
- Mark Merola (Team Stahls’) – Awesome game. Thank you for putting this together. It took me 10 minutes to get out of the lobby because the parents (SCS MI Flyers) were stopping me and thanking us, as I had on my Stahls’ hoodie. It actually warmed the center of my chest where my heart is.
- Lew Lepaugh (Ted Lindsay Foundation) – I attended a Ted Lindsay Foundation event after our game, and they had me share what we just did for the SCS MI Flyers program. Lew then spoke about what a great company Stahls’ is and what we have done in the community and how it effects the charities that we a part of.
- Nancy Graves – This was a very cool experience! Being outside the locker room when you gave them their jerseys was incredible to hear!
- Juliet Kalmeta – Thank you so much Paul for everything! It was so fun to watch you guys play them and all the sliding and funny stuff! The Flyers were in cloud nine for sure!
- Team Stahls’ players – This was an awesome game to be part of. The excitement, smiles, and enjoyment that the Flyers players had was something special to see.
The game concluded with a group photo at center ice and all the players interacting with each other. We wanted to also provide the players with a keepsake that they could always remember this game.
This was a great experience for myself, interacting with the Flyers players and seeing their enjoyment and the excitement they had when they would score a goal or when you would give them some friendly chirps on the ice. It was something special to be part of and representing Stahls’ in this way within the community is something I will never forget. A special thanks to Dan Stahl, for his support with the entire event and wanting to make this a special day for the SCS MI Flyers program! A rematch was also talked about, and we plan to take it outside with them in 2023.
See you at the rink!
Paul and Dan
Please enjoy this video, it’s truly a special moment in time.