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  • Writer's pictureLV Winter Classic

Flyers Alumni Clement, Cote Continue to Give Back to Special Needs Youth at LVWC

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As a Flyers fan and general do-gooder, I appreciate the game of hockey as well as charity work within the local community. Especially when it comes to impacting our youth with the game of hockey.

NHL players past and present have used their social status to raise awareness about causes important to them. Many have chosen to support the communities where they have grown up and/or played professionally. The Flyers, Phantoms and their alumni have all maintained a strong charitable presence in and around the Tri-State area over the years through their respective charity set-ups. I truly admire this and I am thankful for their ongoing commitments. They have contributed amazing work and made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many. Ed Snider and company have blazed a generous trail. Paving the way today are Flyers alumni teammates, Bill Clement and Riley Cote. Flyers who continue to step up, dawn their orange and black, and give back to area special needs children on a grass-roots level through the Lehigh Valley Winter Classic.

Team concept is crucial to success in the game of hockey. This also holds true for charitable causes. Each team is made up of individuals who bring their wares to the table. The team is the sum of each member. The team is successful because of the combined effort of all individuals. Regarding Clement and Cote. Each played their role on their respective Flyers team, yet each can also come together, span the generational gap and team up with an amazing cause in the Lehigh Valley Winter Classic.

For the fifth straight year, proceeds from this event will benefit the local Special Hockey of the Lehigh Valley Polar Bears team, an American Special Hockey Association and USA Hockey affiliate organization. And for the second straight year, these gentlemen will be ambassadors for this prestigious event. And they are bringing along a couple of "soon to be named" friends this year! One can only imagine the notable names who will be along for the ride. As part of the organizational team putting on the Lehigh Valley Winter Classic, I can attest to the team mentality these guys bring to the table. They are going beyond everyday living. They are investing their time locally, leveraging their position within our community and really helping special needs children learn on a different level, through the great game of hockey. They help to personally promote the event. They give pre-game pep talks and autographs to the special hockey teams and they serve as honorary bench coaches. They stay to take photos and answer questions from the kids after the game until every one of them has had their chance to be heard. At the same time they are helping to grow the game and creating life-long hockey fans amongst the special needs players, their families and patrons of the event.

Bill and Riley's involvement in the Lehigh Valley Winter Classic is a testament to their character and commitment as individuals, but also to the foundation that the Flyers organization has instilled, continuing the charitable Flyers spirit started years before. I am truly thankful for these guys. Willing to play within their local community. They recognize the need to give back and shine a light on the small programs with a big hearts. Helping grow the spirit of special needs youth, their families and teams like Special Hockey of the Lehigh Valley. A sincere, thank you boys!

Bill Clement poses with players from the Special Hockey of the Lehigh Valley Polar Bears team at the 5th Annual Lehigh Valley Winter Classic in January 2018. Clement returns along with Riley Cote and other NHL notables for the 6th Annual event being held on January 26th 2019.

Click this photo to find out more information about the 6th Annual Lehigh Valley Winter Classic being held January 26th 2019.

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