Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grades are in

Last week, Colin participated in his first Pro Ambitions hockey camp. Earlier today, we received Colin's evaluation from the camp, which is based on his performance during the week:

Skating: 4.2 out of 5 (38 out of 45 possible points)
Puck control: 3.6 (29/40)
Body contact: 4.3 (13/15)
Mental skills: 4.7 (28/30)
Individual and team game skills: 4.8 (19/20)

Overall: 4.3 out of 5 (127 out of 150 possible points)

While some might take these evaluations with a grain of salt, as I thought some scores were a tad generous, I like how they show the areas where he needs to improve.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Hockey Life: Seeking sponsors

For the first time in Colin's hockey journey, we're placing a greater emphasis on fundraising. In the past, his teams have sold candles or have done nothing at all to offset the fees associated with travel hockey. This year, though, it's different. His team, part of the Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning organization, is offering opportunities for businesses and families to sponsor players.

The program, called Lightning Strikes!, will ultimately produce a yearbook that highlights the nine teams, with players from 8 to 18, playing under the Jr. Lightning umbrella. In Colin's case, it'll be Jr. Lightning Peewee A White squad. With every level of sponsorship, beginning at only $25, the contributor receives a mention or an advertisement within the yearbook.

Beyond having an advertisement in the yearbook, there are two main benefits of participating in the Lightning Strikes! program:

~ The players, all from Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties here in the Tampa Bay area, will have 80 percent of all sponsorship money they collect applied to their $2,200 season fees, which cover ice time for practices and 18 Central Florida Hockey League games, as well as payments for referees, plus any extra entry fees for extra tournaments.

~ The sponsorships are viewed as tax-deductible donations, as the Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.

This fundraising program, which concludes Aug. 19, offers many sponsorship levels within the yearbook. The yearbook, which the organization is hoping to print 1,000 of this season, is a finished size of 8.5 inches by 11 inches, with full-color positions available:

~ $25 - Name of the sponsor on the "Fans of the Jr. Lightning" page within the yearbook
~ $50 - Business-card size ad in black and white inside the magazine
~ $125 - Quarter-page ad in black in white inside the magazine
~ $250 - Half-page ad in black and white inside the magazine
~ $500 - Full-page ad in black and white inside the magazine
~ $750 - Full-page ad in full color inside the magazine
~ $1,000 - Inside front or back cover full-page ad inside the magazine (Only two are available)
~ $1,500 - Back cover color full-page ad (Only one is available)

A hyperlink from the organization's website to the sponsor's website is included at the $250 sponsorship level and above. Sponsors at these levels also receive recognition on the Jr. Lightning website.

If you've read this far, I appreciate your time and consideration of sponsoring Colin this season as he continues his hockey journey. He'll be making some visits in the days ahead to businesses we've supported over the past few years to see whether they'll be willing to return the favor.

If you'd like to participate or have any questions, feel free to contact us at

We're also checking whether folks can contribute, without participating in the Lightning Strikes! program, in Colin's name through the Jr. Lightning's website.

Thanks, again, for your support.

Editor's note: This is the 300th post of this blog, so I don't feel the least little bit guilty about the purely promotional tone of this entry.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Hockey Life: Trip to the rink

Photo by CMS 37

Just because it's the middle of summer doesn't mean there's no way we can get in a little hockey. With the NHL draft held last Sunday, many NHL teams are staging their rookie and/or development camps. Down here in Hockey Bay, the Lightning are no different.

We stopped by on opening day yesterday, making the ride over to Brandon. To get the most bang for our buck, we even completed a few hockey errands there, getting Colin's skates sharpened, and buying a new pair of gloves and socks for his upcoming travel season.

But rather than tell you what we did, here are a few links that will show you what we did:

~ Taking an old-school approach with some photos;

~ getting a better handle on the panoramic feature on our camera; and

~ snagging a couple of pucks signed by the Lightning's top pick, Jonathan Drouin.