Sunday hockey tournament raises money for local cancer patient
Steamboat Springs — Nikki Knoebel knows if you give Routt County residents a chance, they are more than willing to give whatever they can. And this includes the numerous hockey fans who take part in Knoebel’s benefit tournaments.
“We have a generous community,” Knoebel said, “and we have so many people that play hockey, it’s just always a great time at these tournaments.”
Knoebel is special events manager at the Catamount Ranch Club, as well as mayor of Oak Creek. Since 2009, she has organized a series of A-B-C hockey tournaments, all of which have a specific charity or individual for which they raise money.
The next tournament — and the first for 2015 — will take place Sunday at the Howelsen Ice Arena in Steamboat Springs. The tournament will be for the benefit of Eian Stamp, a 21-year-old Steamboat resident who was diagnosed with a rare, malignant form of cancer in his abdomen in November. Stamp and his mother, Laura, have been living in Denver to be closer to the specialized services and hospitals in the city.
“I heard about Eian Stamp and his mom Laura … she’s been a big part of the hockey community in Steamboat,” Knoebel said. “So when this came up, and someone brought up doing a benefit for Eian, I kind of thought this was a no-brainer.”
The tournaments all use the A-B-C format, which allows people of all ages and skill levels to compete. Games are typically an hour long — three 15-minute periods — with penalty shots between periods. Knoebel said she gets as many families to sign up as individuals.
“It’s a great format, and we get a lot of people signed up for it,” Knoebel said. “The whole family can get out and play, and it’s kind of fair. Sunday, I have a ton of full families of four that are getting to play together on a fun tournament that benefits a good thing.”
Knoebel originally started doing these tournaments to raise money for the Oak Creek Hockey Association, of which she is the rink manager. Then she learned about the family-friendly A-B-C format and started holding tournaments in Steamboat six years ago.
Knoebel has since put on yearly tournaments, including one for United Way the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the Sanctuary Camp the day after Christmas. Knoebel said they raised $1,500 for United Way last winter.
“We have such a generous community that people really come out and really want to play, and they love to support different non-profit groups,” Knoebel said.
As of Friday, Knoebel said she has five teams registered at 16 people each. Cost to play in the tournament is $60 for adults and $40 for students, and each team is guaranteed three games. The tournament begins at 7 a.m. Sunday, and play will continue well into the evening.
To register, call Knoebel at 846-2083 or email her at email@example.com.
“They can sign up by giving me a call, and we are hoping to raise good money for Eian,” Knoebel said. “People are signing up left and right, and we should have a good time on Sunday.”
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