Minnesota Special Hockey is delighted to announce this year's recipient of our annual volunteer scholarship, Nathaniel Kashmark. Nathaniel has volunteered for Special Hockey since middle school with our Moorhead team. Nathaniel says the connection with our players has been the most rewarding and enjoyable part of his volunteer experience. He said he enjoyed working with one player in particular who "was very shy and didn’t talk to many other people. I looked for him to come each week and tried to get him to talk about himself and his week. Seeing him each week and getting him to open up with myself and the other players on the ice was tough, but he eventually joined in playing games with others on the ice. His mom noticed the progress he made in getting to know other players and talking and let me know how thankful she was for my help." Nathaniel also helped another player learn to be a goalie when his team needed someone to step up. Nathaniel had been a goalie, so he agreed to step up and help the player learn. "We had a great time trying on gear and learning how to put it all on and practiced some skills on the ice. The player was a goalie for the team until he graduated and always had a smile on his face during practice and games."
Nathaniel will attend the University of Maine in the fall and will study animal sciences. He hopes to go to veterinary school in the future.
It was an especially competitive year for our scholarship, and our sincerest thanks to all who nominated our volunteers for this honor. To Nathaniel and to all of our wonderful volunteers, thank you for all that you do to make Minnesota Special Hockey a success and a wonderful experience for all of our athletes. We look forward to seeing everyone on the ice next season!