Worcester Railers HC Win 2020-21 ECHL Community Service Team of the Year Award
Railers win league community service award for third straight year
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester Railers Hockey Club (@RailersHC), proud ECHL (@ECHL) affiliate of the New York Islanders (@NYIslandrers) announced today that the club has been awarded the 2020-21 ECHL Community Service Team of the Year Award at the ECHL League Meetings on August 16. This is the third straight year the Railers have received the award.
The Worcester Railers HC have been selected as the winner of the 2020-21 ECHL Community Service Team of the Year Award in recognition of their commitment on being a leader in the greater Worcester community.
“It is truly an honor to receive this award for the third straight year, especially given the fact that we did not have a season on the ice,” said Railers COO Mike Myers. “It is a full team effort starting with our owners Cliff and Susan Rucker, our front office staff led by Paul Harris, our interns, hockey staff and players, corporate partners and members, the Worcester Railers HC Booster Club, and our mascot TRAX. We are honored to receive this award and look to make it four in a row next year as we continue with our community first mentality.”
The cancellation of the Railers 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not derail the team’s commitment to the Worcester community. In fact, the Railers launched multiple initiatives in response to the pandemic, including Food For Frontliners to recognize healthcare heroes, and the Small Business Stimulus Power Play to support local, struggling small businesses. One of the biggest issues the organization addressed was food insecurity in Central Massachusetts through a three-part program, Hockey Feeds the Need.
Part 1: The Railers relaunched Food For Frontliners presented by Assumption University in January 2021 to recognize and treat the many workers who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic. Each week, the Railers provided essential workers with food from a local restaurant as a thank you for their selflessness and dedication to helping others. By the conclusion of the campaign, the team delivered over 1,200 meals.
Part 2: Hockey Checks Hunger presented by Fallon Health and Fidelity Bank focused on alleviating food shortages in community pantries throughout Central Massachusetts. Local youth hockey organizations including the Junior Railers HC, Worcester White Hawks, Twin City Hawks, NCMYH Sting, Minuteman Flames, and NorthStars Hockey Club came together to donate non-perishables to food pantries across the region. The Railers then matched the donation. Recipient food pantries included Marlborough Community Cupboard, Ginny’s Helping Hand, Boys and Girls Club of Worcester, and South Worcester Neighborhood Center.
Part 3: The Railers partnered with the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation and Advantage Truck Group to provide fresh food boxes to both veterans and the general public at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. By the end of May, the Railers distributed approximately 500,000 pounds of food.
In addition to the new programs launched this past year, the Railers were able to continue annual traditions including the Booster Club Backpack Drive, Thanksgiving meal distribution, holiday toy shopping, and (drive-thru) Teddy Bear Toss presented by Fidelity Bank.
“The Worcester Railers are community first,” said Harris. “Our goal every season is to win this award and we are thrilled to receive this for the third straight year. I am fortunate to be part of this organization that gives back to the community in a really big way.”
The Worcester Railers look forward to welcoming fans back to the DCU Center for their Home Opener on October 23, 2021 vs. the Maine Mariners! For all information regarding the upcoming season, visit RailersHC.com or call 508-365-1750 to secure your seats.