Honoring veterans is something our family does everyday. We are so thankful for all who serve, have served and for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms and our way of life. We have many family members who were/are members of the military, going back to our father Ernie Stahl who served in the Pacific in WWII, and brother Brian Stahl who served in Vietnam. There are also countless cousins, in-laws and GroupeSTAHL team members that have served or are serving. In 2015, we started a tradition to honor veterans and their families by hosting and organizing a hockey-related event to raise money for the military community. For the past several years, this fundraising event has given to various charities related to veterans and is now specifically committed to raising money for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.
Here’s how it all evolved: Back in 2015, we decided to put together an in-house hockey team to play in a local Detroit charity event called the Frozen Fish Fiasco at Clark Park. Clark Park is an outdoor ice arena in the metro-Detroit area and the event helped to raise money with the Detroit Red Wings Alumni, to support local youth hockey. Paul Sabatini is a long-time Stahls’ team member and hockey enthusiast who helped organize the first team, along with Dan Stahl (International Legal Counsel, GroupeSTAHL) and with full support from Mary, myself and the entire Stahl family. As Dan said, “Almost everyone in the Stahl family has been involved with the sport of hockey at various times in our lives, and my brothers and sisters, as well as recreational hockey players at Stahls’ were all very eager to put on their skates to help raise money for a good cause.”
The event was such a success that Stahls’ decided to continue to use the in-house hockey team and its relationship with the Detroit Red Wings Alumni team as a fundraising vehicle going forward. Today, that project has evolved into what’s known as Stahls’ Power Play for Heroes, with proceeds from a game between Team Stahls’ and the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Team going to raise money for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. For the past several years, Stahls’ helped raise more than enough money to sponsor two service dogs at a cost of $25,000 each. (This years event took place at the St. Clair Shores ice arena on November 9, 2019)
Giving Back: As a company that works very closely with teams of all shapes and sizes, as well as the promotional products industry, Stahls’ is very often approached to contribute to fundraising events by donating uniforms or t-shirts. We always try to support those that need help, especially in our local communities, but we wanted to start giving back in a more meaningful way, to support a specific organization that helps veterans and their families after they are done serving. Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs was the perfect fit.
Paul Sabatini, Product Manager Sports, works with Dan Stahl, Wendy Taylor and other Stahls’ team members to coordinate the annual event. Paul has developed strong connections to the Detroit Red Wings Alumni team. “The charity game is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to get family members involved,” recounts Sabatini. “We have about 1,000 people attend the game each year.” In addition, Stahls’ sells jerseys and holds 50/50 raffles and auctions that benefit the charity.
Stahls’ is committed to continuing with this fund raising event heading into the future. “We would be really proud of the day we are able to say we have helped raise over a million dollars for this organization,” says Sabatini.
We are happy to be able to share the Stahls’ family tradition about enjoying hockey, raising money for a good cause, supporting veterans and their families and bringing people together. We are continually amazed at the stories we hear from veterans whose lives have been changed for the better after receiving a trained medical service dog. Thank you to everyone who attended the event this year and donated, and thank you to everyone at Stahls’ who helped make this year’s Power Play for Heroes a huge success. If you are in the Detroit Metro area, please note that an additional event to raise money for this cause, is taking place November 11, 2019 at the Stahls’ Automotive Foundation in Chesterfield, Michigan. Please stop by and help us continue to honor our veterans and raise money for Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.