We attend a wedding, celebrate survivor heroes, travel to Chicago to help the blind and get ready for Dawg's hockey in Wyoming.
Bigger and Better than Ever!
Dawg Bowl XI featured non-stop action on the ice and so much more. We raised a record $275,000 to help those in the hockey community. And for the second straight year, led by Mike and Suzanne Shaw and Shaw Hockey Productions, we broadcast at least one game for every team over the internet!
We remembered a good friend at a special presentation during Dawg Bowl. Heather Karas passed away two days prior to the Survivor Game she had hoped to play in. She and her son, Michael, had played together on the JK Strong team every year at Dawg Bowl. This year Michael played with his sister, Marina, in honor of their mother. 

The Dawgs and the teams playing in the tournament presented Michael and Marina (center) a check for $61,000. “It’s special to be able to help,” said Martin Richardson, with Dawg Nation Executive Director Mike Freeman (l) and Vice-President Greg Clinard (r). “But we never forget one of our own like Heather and we will always be there for her children.”
Tammy Meier taught her sons Dylan and Matthew to skate and has watched their growth as players from youth leagues through the junior and college ranks.
Tammy has ovarian cancer. During Dawg Bowl, she and her husband Mark and their two dogs were in California where Tammy received treatment. 

While she was not able to be at Dawg Bowl, Tammy WAS able to watch via FaceTime as the Dawgs presented Matt with a check for $55,000. Taking part (left to right) were Dawg Nation board member Dave Chamberlain, Cap, Matthew, Jaclyn Barhoum, Jason Stenseth of Rox Heating and Air and sponsor of the Survivor Game, DN board member Matt Cope and Mike Freeman. Tammy is now home in Colorado. “The cancer markers are trending downward,” said Freeman. “That indicates her strong personal advocacy and the amazing support and help she is receiving are working.”

It was a Dawg Bowl first! Cassandra Berner and A.J. Swanson exchanged their wedding vows at center ice. The Dawgs Mike “Sully” Sullivan performed the ceremony. “What an honor to have our special day here,” said Cass. “We also won Dawg Bowl! Still can't believe that!!”

The bride and groom skated under a canopy of hockey sticks held high by their fellow teammates and received a miniature Stanley Cup to commemorate the event. The happy couple honeymooned in New Orleans.
The stands were packed as we welcomed back the Survivor Game after a year’s absence due to the pandemic. The players have battled life threatening illnesses and injuries and have come back better and stronger. Many say the goal of returning to the game they love is a big factor in their recovery.
It was easy to see the joy the players felt as they took the ice and the excitement they shared with each other when a goal was scored. The Survivor game continues to be an inspiration not only for those who participate, but for all of us.
More Winners!

Platinum Division

Denver Concrete

Silver Division

Amateur Status

Women's Division

Flying Vs
We had a full Sled Division of four teams and crowned a sled champion for the first time. In the championship game our own Colorado Sled Hockey edged the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4.

Copper A Division


Copper B Division

LW Survey

Copper C Division

Hot Broads and Dad Bods

Bronze A Division


Bronze B Division

Lifetime Construction
Road Trip - Join the Dawgs
In May the Dawgs were stunned by the death of Spencer Morton. He died at 38 of a heart attack leaving wife Melissa and one child with another due in September. Spencer played Division 1 college hockey at the University of Vermont. He called Jackson Hole, Wyoming, home and played for the Jackson Hole Moose. He was an expert fishing guide and owner of the Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School.

The weekend of August 20-22, the Dawgs will be in Jackson Hole to play a fund-raising game against the semi-pro team Spencer was a big part of.

The top Dawgs will be there including Hall of Famer Milan Hejduk (center with Cap), and former NHL stars Reed Low and Jan Hejda (r). Milan's son, David (l), who recently signed with the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League, joins the Dawgs for this special game. It's the first time that Milan and David will play in a game together! High scoring Colorado College star and former St. Louis Blues winger Peter Sejna will play. Former DU captain Aaron MacKenzie will lace up the skates. Spencer’s college teammate and long-time NHL standout Patrick Sharp and the Chicago Blackhawks are providing some one of a kind auction items..
Low (r)

Spencer and pal Nigel Richardson, who survived the same kind of heart attack (see story later in this newsletter), were fishing guides. On August 21st Nigel will lend his expertise during a morning of trout fishing.
There will be an auction prior to the game the night of the 21st. A sporting clay competition, hosted by two time Stanley Cup champion Bobby Holik, comes on the 22nd followed by a BBQ for all. 

The Dawgs will travel in style in a motorhome provided by Drew Myers, who will also serve as chauffer.

Drew (with wife Melissa and the Dawg Father), was a recipient earlier this year after suffering several strokes.

The Dawgs are out to raise $50,000 from the auction and ticket sales for the game to help the Morton family. It’s roughly an 8 hour drive with a weekend of fun in store for everyone. See you Dawg supporters and fans there.
Chicago On Ice
In July, the Dawgs, led by Executive Director Mike Freeman (r) and board member Greg Clinard, were proud co-sponsors of the Windy City Blind Hockey Showdown. Tim Kane (c), one of the best blind hockey players in the country and Captain of the U.S. National team was an excited participant and hopes a tournament can be held in Colorado soon. Tim looks forward to the day that blind hockey will be a Paralympic sport.

In Blind Hockey an oversized metal puck is used. It’s filled with ball bearings and makes noise allowing skaters to track it. Those who are totally blind also rely on communication from visually impaired players on the ice and on the bench. A whistle lets players know a shot is coming. Goalies are totally blind.

Drew Garza (l) is a player and also tournament director. The tournament was his idea and a way to pull the blind hockey community back together after the pandemic. When Garza approached Dawg Nation, we were all in.
The Dawg Nation logo was on the on the shoulder of team jerseys. Both Mike and Greg played in 4 games and at times battled to keep up with the action. The level of play was high.

“We were so happy to provide the opportunity and a place for them to skate,” summed up Mike Freeman. “Everybody kept thanking us, but we were saying thank you to all of them for their inspiration.”
A Helping Paw
Giving back is what Dawg Nation is all about. In 10 years we've helped over 200 families with more than $2,500,000 in recipient aid. Thank you to all that donate, sponsor, bid, and continue to support. We simply can’t do this without you!
Jon Rausch (between Mike Freeman and Martin Richardson) is a referee, a player in several leagues and teaches a beginner camp for women. He is recovering from COVID. At Dawg Bowl, the Dawgs presented Jon a check for $5,000 to help with expenses. Also enjoying the moment were Edge Arena Manager Alec Hines and Dawg Nation board member Monette Nickels.

Tyler Frank’s world was turned upside down following the sudden passing of his wife, Raelynn. He has done a wonderful job bringing joy back into the lives of his three children. At Dawg Bowl, along with teams from the RMHL, the Dawgs surprised Tyler (r) and his children with a check for $5,000. Mike Freeman and Scott Magen (l), the Sled Division sponsor, made the presentation.
In July the Dawgs were honored to be part of the first annual Gary Pedigo Memorial Golf Tournament. Nearly 100 golfers teed it up at Walnut Creek in honor of the long-time hockey referee and member of the Colorado Ice Hockey Officials Hall of Fame. Gary died of COVID in December. 

The Pedigo family split the proceeds between Dawg Nation and Westminster Public Safety Foundation. We were humbled to receive a check for nearly $3,000. To Gary’s wife Jacquie (2nd from left) and the family, thank you for an amazing day. On hand with Jacquie were (from left) Don Emmot, Gary Pedigo, Jr., Mark Fox and the Dawg Father.

Dave Tscherpel has cancer. In November of 2020 we surprised Dave and wife Marybeth with a check to ease the financial burden for this wonderful Arvada hockey family.
In May, the Dawgs, including former Avs and NHL star John Mitchell, were on the links for the Tscherpel Strong Golf Tournament. The tournament raised $33,870 to help Dave as he continues his fight. Son Spencer (l) is joined by John Mitchell, Dave and Marybeth, their daughter Kaylin Klaren, Cap and Mike.  “The love and support my dad felt is unmeasurable,” said Spencer. “One of the best days of our lives!” 

In early August, the Dawgs were at the 2nd annual Leyland Fay Memorial Golf Tournament. Leyland died in May of 2020, eight years after he was diagnosed with tumors in his brain and body and was given 6 months to live. 

Thanks to Tournament Director Max Wright (l) and his tireless volunteers for running a terrific event! Max is joined by Sarah, her sons Connor and Derek and Mike Freeman.

Former Avs star Brett Clark and decorated Army veteran Cory Myers (l) were among those representing the Dawgs at Antler Creek Golf Club and happy to assist the Fay family. The Dawgs helped raise $17,000 this year and $59,000 in the last two years as wife Sarah continues to pay off huge medical bills.
Remembering Arnie Archuleta
In July, we lost a wonderful friend and hockey ambassador to cancer. Arnie, with his children Shelby and Ray, was a big part of the hockey community in Arvada and introduced the game to hundreds of kids through the years.
In December of ‘19 at the Ralston Valley – Dakota Ridge hockey game, Dawg Nation board member Dave Chamberlain (l), Cap and DN Vice president Greg Clinard (r) surprised Arnie with a check for $10,000.
The last time Arnie took the ice was at this year’s Dawg Bowl Survivor Game. With Shelby, Ray and sister Mandy Behren (l), Arnie holds a framed collection of photos from the Survivor Game. 
Thank you to Kelli Packard and David Topping for creating this special momento.
“Many memories are flooding back, but what stands out for me is watching Arnie muster up the energy to participate in the 2021 Survivor Game," said an emotional Cap. "And for me to have the incredible honor to call the very last time Arnie skated down the rink, the very last time he touched a puck, and very last time he scored a goal, is something I will never forget!!! Arnie my friend, thanks for the memories! I will miss you.”
We Hear You Loud and Clear!
The Dawg Nation Podcast hit the airwaves in January and the first season of 10 episodes is now in the books. Co-hosted by Marty Richardson and Mike Freeman, the DawgPods were an immediate hit with hockey fans.

Among the guests in Season Two will be Peter Wallen. He is Gabriel Landeskog’s agent. Get the lowdown on what it took to keep the captain (with pal Aden Johnson) in an Avs' sweater.
In Episode 10, meet the Voice of the Avs, Marc Moser. Moser discusses his journey from California to the Colorado Avalanche, WWII, and more.
We also hear from 6 year old Porter Johnson who recently rang the bell for beating cancer! 
In Episode 9, Avs legend Alex Tanguay shares stories from the hockey world. He’s joined by Graysen Cameron (second from left), captain of the Humboldt Broncos. Marty and Mike also talk with 8 year old Cooper Tippitt (with Graysen) who has battled a serious disease for most of his life. He’s a huge hockey fan with a wonderful outlook.

While in town, Graysen and girlfriend Madi Lynch were treated to a special time with the Avs including a visit with Rookie of the Year and Norris finalist Cale Makar.

More DawgPods!

Episode 8 - Reed Low
Episode 7 – Tyler Smith
Episode 6 - Jan Hejda
Episodes 4/5 – Milan Hejduk
Episodes 2/3 – Peter McNab
Episode 1 – Jared Bednar
These Dawgs Can Play
The Junior DAWGS are the first youth team to proudly wear the DAWG logo and they continue to rule the ice. Coached by 10 year NHL veteran Jan Hejda, the team is made up of players under 15 years old from the Thunderbirds, Roughriders and Rampage, three of the top organizations in the state. "It's like a Colorado all-star team", said Hejda.

In July, the Junior Dawgs won the Four Stars Tournament in Minnesota. In the title game, the Dawgs were down 3-0 to the powerful Minnesota Blades, then rallied to win 6-5!
They wrapped up their season with one win in three games at the talent laden Chowder Cup in Boston.

"I hope they learned a lot," remarked Jan. "My goal was to make them better hockey players and better teammates. To trust and play for each other."
The Rink...Moving Forward
Dawg Nation and the City of Castle Pines recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City officially deeding 12 acres of land for the Rink. The site is east of I-25 at Castle Pines Parkway and will feature three sheets of ice and locker facilities for all skaters. It will be a world class sled hockey facility and home to local and regional school and youth hockey programs.

Wear it proudly like Jan Hejda, Milan Hejduk and their buddy Cooper Tippitt. Thanks to K1 Sportswear we’re offering exact replicas of our original DAWGS sweater for the incredibly low price of $75!

Customize with your name and favorite number. You get “game weight” jersey material, stitched-on patch and the “JK” logo.
Fighting Dawg

Nigel Richardson wants everyone to know he is doing well. In March, Nigel suffered the kind of heart attack that kills 99%. On April 11, he underwent a heart transplant. 30 hours later, he was walking the corridors at UC Health. There’s rehab everyday and a barrage of tests to make sure his body is not rejecting the new heart. In early August he went on a 5 ½ mile hike.
“Your body never totally accepts the heart, but it learns to tolerate it,” said Nigel.
In July, Nigel turned 59 and celebrated with brother Martin. “What was bigger for me than a birthday was going back to work in early August,” he said. “It was the sense of independence and a big chunk of normalcy. I had a purpose.” Nigel has worn the Dawgs sweater from the beginning as a member of the Old Dawgs. He is a world class fisherman and guide. He hopes to be back on the river later this month.
Nigel and fiancé Kelly Fraser are back home following time in an apartment near the hospital. “More independence.” 
Nigel looks at what he’s been through like an athlete who has a major knee operation or Tommy John surgery. “Physical recovery is one thing,” he said. “The bigger part is me believing in my new heart like a pitcher believes he’ll be able to throw again. Everyday I build more confidence.”
Coming Up
The 11th annual Tee It Up for Dawg Nation returns to the challenging Highlands Ranch Golf Club on September 13. The Dawgs thank Greg Ahbe and the TAG Insurance Group. They have sponsored the event every year. In 2020, we raised over $105,000, a record amount for the event. Every penny after expenses helps adult hockey players and their families across the Rocky Mountain region.

The 11th annual Stand Up for Dawg Nation Comedy Night will be held October 27 at Comedy Works South. We are thrilled to welcome back Derrick Stroup who headlines this year's event. Check our website for ticket information coming soon.
To Our Suporters, Donors, Partners, and Sponsors ...Thank You!
This newsletter was written and edited by Jeff Kingery. Photos by Kelli Packard. Sejna photo courtesy Getty Images. MacKenzie photo courtesy
Thanks to Martin Richardson, Mike Freeman, Meryl Kingery and Rob Packard for their assistance.

Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation
720 432 9471
PO Box 182
Indian Hills, CO 80454