Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the spirit of fellowship via recreational hockey competition, supporting players and player's families in high standards of health, wellness, and fair play, and supporting league and team players in local community outreach.
In 2003, a group of men from all walks of life got together and wanted to try their hand at adult recreation league hockey. They formed a team called the Junkyard Dawgs, and set themselves up at the Edge Ice Arena in Littleton, Colorado. This was not a particularly good team, by the way. But win or lose, they'd enthusiastically show up every week, play some hockey, share stories, and as time went on, became a small family.
In a short time, it became pretty well known that the Dawgs were a great team to be on, and the line started forming to become part of the "family". In fact, there was so much interest; the team was able to split into two complete squads. There was Dawgs I, who would feature a lot of the younger players and play in a higher division, and Dawgs II, which would play in the next level down.
Since then, our "small family" has blossomed into one of the largest adult hockey organizations in the region. We have become Dawg Nation. We're now up to six teams, and over 80 players, ranging in age from teens to veterans in their seventies. There have been many happy events, such as parties, weddings and births, which have brought The Nation together. Unfortunately, there have been far too many tragedies that have tested the character of our organization, and subsequently brought us even closer together. During the past several years, we have had several bouts with cancer, a hockey accident that nearly crippled one of our players, and we even lost one of our families to a devastating disease in 2010.
Whenever something bad happens, that player and his family can always count on Dawg Nation to rally behind them. Whether it be in the form of an email, or maybe a gift card, or even some needed financial help, all that a Dawg needs to do is look over his shoulder, and he'll see his other family standing right there with him.
Now, by establishing the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, our efforts will not only help our own, but will also reach out to assist other hockey players who have been injured, or are battling serious medical problems. Through various fundraisers, we will do everything we can to help, because we all know that sometimes a small group of people can make a huge difference.
"To know there are people out there thinking about you and pulling for you it really helps to have that kind of support and Dawg Nation is always there giving it." - Kathie Kelly
"I can't think of a better cause to donate time and opportunity. I am truly inspired by everyone out there and honored to be included." - Odell Isaac