GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)-Through their philanthropy, the DeVos family supports the work of the West Michigan Special Hockey program and how they teach children and adults with disabilities the love for hockey DeVos Family Foundation supports the work of the West Michigan Special Hockey program and how they teach children and adults with disabilities the love for hockey. Some of the disabilities of those on the team include autism, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. This program extends the opportunity to members of the community who would have never thought that hockey was something that they could be involved in. Minus a small registration fee, this program is free to its participants providing the equipment, coaching and the ice time at Patterson Ice Center.
Coach Phil has been involved in the team with his family as his 11-year-old son Andy has autism and is part of the team. The team has 27 players and focusses on inclusion, they want everyone to be able to come out and play hockey regardless of how good you are. The program is for players ages 5 to adult of any skill level. Not only are these kids able to learn how to play hockey but they are also making many friendships. They also have a lot of volunteers form local college and high school teams that have so much fun when they get out on the ice with the kids. What is special and rewarding for parents is to watch their children light up with joy as they discover a whole new world of hockey. To get involved and find more information about the West Michigan Special Hockey Program here.