Every season, Bobcat Hockey makes it a point to be an active part of the Bismarck community, and the 2017-18 season is no different. In and around the city, you can always find the Bobcats doing their part to make Bismarck a great place for everyone.
Brave the Shave
2017-18 will mark the ninth straight year that Bobcat Hockey will team up with Basin Electric and Brave the Shave to raise money to fight childhood cancer. Over the years, over 60 Bobcat players, coaches and staff members—including Head Coach Layne Sedevie—have gotten their heads shaved to raise money for the growing national charity.
A long-time staple of the team’s Brave the Shave Night includes special-edition green and blue jerseys that are auctioned off following the contest. The team has raised over $50,000 from the jerseys to benefit the foundation.
Dreams in Motion
For the last four seasons, the Bobcats have partnered with Mandan-based Dreams in Motion—an organization whose goal is to provide recreational and sporting opportunities for youth and young adults, from ages 2 to 25, with mobility challenges or visual impairments and their families and friends—to host weekly sled hockey events at the VFW Sports Center.
During the 2014-15 preseason, the Bobcats and Dreams in Motion also welcomed U.S. gold-medalist sled hockey Paralympians Josh Sweeney and Luke McDermott to Bismarck/Mandan for “Community Day.” Sweeney, the current captain of the US National Sled Hockey Team, brought his gold medal from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Throughout the season, Bobcat Hockey will send players and staff to local schools to discuss a healthy lifestyle and to lead hockey-themed activities during gym class at each school.
Over the past twelve seasons, the Bobcats have visited over 10,000 local students to talk about the importance of an active lifestyle and proper nutrition.
In addition to the tips on being healthy, the Bobcat players also give every student a free ticket to a Bobcats home game, a team backpack and autographs while they’re there.
American Heart Association
Over the past few seasons, the Cats extended their commitment to helping young people in and around Bismarck make the right choices for a healthy lifestyle by taking part in the American Heart Association’s “Jump Rope For Heart” program.
Like Healthy Habits, Jump Rope For Heart promotes the value of physical activity to elementary schoolchildren while showing them they can contribute to the welfare of the community.
Bobcat players would join the volunteers from the American Heart Association during their presentations and participate along with the kids. While participating, the players gave the kids a great example to look up to on how physical fitness can benefit them down the road.
Bismarck Public Library
The Bobcats’ involvement with Bismarck’s youth doesn’t just apply to the realm of physical fitness and healthy lifestyles; Bobcat Hockey also participates in evening read-alongs at the Bismarck Public Library with local youngsters.
Bobcat Hockey understands the importance of getting the youngest Bobcat fans interested in reading and learning to read; when the kids see their favorite Bobcats reading to them, it gets them excited to start reading at an early age.
Not only did the Bobcats visit area schools with their Healthy Habits program, they also went around to see local school kids at BLAST—Bismarck Life After School Time—an after school program provided by Bismarck Parks & Recreation.
The Bobcat visits to BLAST helped to not only reiterate the important message of the Healthy Habits program but also to continue to win over Bismarck’s youngsters and recruit a whole new generation of Bobcat Hockey fans!
The Bobcats also have a strong relationship with Bismarck’s local youth hockey program, which also plays out of the VFW Sports Center. The Bobcats not only share their time by teaching future Bobcat stars on the ice, but are active in assisting their fundraisers, helping with the Bismarck Hockey Boosters’ Road Race and Big Gun Raffle over the years.
It isn’t just the young people of Bismarck that Bobcat Hockey gives back to, either, as the ‘Cats also assist the Salvation Army during their busiest time of year—the Christmas season—to help raise funds for all of their charitable causes.
All around Bismarck, Bobcat players can be found in November and December outside of local businesses ringing bells next to those familiar red kettles to bring in money for the Salvation Army to help out those less fortunate during the holiday season.
The Bobcats are also proud to take part in other official and unofficial events to help out in and around Bismarck.
Bobcat Hockey is always willing to lend a hand when needed, too, as the whole team pitched in during last winter to help shovel snow off the roof of St. Anne’s School on North 13th Street when a blizzard during the hardy winter of 2008-09 threatened to collapse the roof of the school.
During the 2009-10 season, Bobcat players assisted in the renovation of St. Joseph’s Church in Mandan by helping the church remove pews and prepare for the big facelift that St. Joseph’s received.
Before the start of the 2011-12 season, the Bobcats took part in the Ruth Meier’s House Good Neighbors Food Drive to help out those in need of food after such a difficult summer in the Missouri River Basin.
The team has also walked in the “Walk MS” event at Sertoma Park, taking time out during Training Camp to help raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis research.