Dear Cyclones Families
As we close the books on a very successful and busy 2012-2013 Fall season and make the rather quick transition into Spring, I would like to share with you some very exciting news.
I have stated in previous correspondence to you that it will always be the goal of the CAHA to provide to its members the best possible youth hockey experience, both on and off the ice. The club has enjoyed unprecedented growth for the past several seasons and I feel that much of that growth can be attributed to the quality of our program, the dedication of both our hockey staff and the Cyclones board and the adherence to a strong sense of community.
Since its founding in 1999, the Cyclones Amateur Hockey Association and the Fox Valley Ice Arena has been the youth hockey home for hundreds of local children playing House and Tier II hockey. For some, the time spent at the rink and on the ice may only last a couple of years. For others, the commitment to playing youth hockey for the Cyclones goes from Mite all the way through to Midget. And for a fortunate few, their skills will take them beyond the Tier II level and into the ranks of AAA, Juniors, College or maybe, with a little bit of good fortune, professional hockey. Whatever the case, no matter how long they play youth hockey or how far the game of hockey takes them, the one thing that all of these players will always have in common is the fact that they were Cyclones.
And as we continue to grow and welcome new members into the Cyclones family, I feel that it is the right time to acknowledge all those players who have worn our uniform. No matter how this was accomplished or whatever direction we took, I knew that I wanted this to be permanent and ongoing, a vehicle that could be sustainable. So, after some consideration and discussion, what eventually was decided as the best course of action was to the form a new board committee, the Cyclones Alumni Committee (CAC).
Initially, the primary focus of this committee will be 1) to connect players from the past to the present and to identify all Cyclones players who have called the Fox Valley Ice Arena their hockey home and 2) to honor and bestow special recognition to those select few players who have achieved a level of success beyond Tier II hockey.
For those players receiving special recognition, certain criteria will be outlined and then voted on by the committee. These players will then be posted on our website under a new "Alumni" tag with the details of their hockey playing career. Additionally, we will be interviewing some of these players so as to feature their inspiring stories on our website. Also, we are considering exploring different social media options that may allow current Cyclones players and their families to stay connected to these players.
Furthermore, it is the hope of the committee that the recognition of these players will serve several essential functions. First and foremost, it is important that we understand what these players have accomplished, that moving beyond Tier II hockey requires not only talent and natural ability, but also a passion and a love for the game that then must be combined with a tremendous amount of sacrifice, hard work and dedication. Secondly, it is my hope that by recognizing these players it will serve to inspire those who are current Cyclones, making them feel that perhaps their dreams can be reached. They will hopefully see that these players were really no different than them, that they wore the same uniforms, got dressed in the same dressing rooms and skated on the same ice. And finally, and just as importantly, in recognizing these players, we are also recognizing their parents and their coaches, for all of their hard work, all of their sacrifices and all of their dedication.
We are very excited about this newly formed committee and what it will offer to Cyclones families, both past and present. The CAC currently has approximately 30 players on our list to be reviewed and feel that it is fairly comprehensive. However, if you know of players out there who we may have missed and deserve to be recognized, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of the members of the committee. Thank you.
Cyclones Alumni Committee: Mark Plantery, President CAHA; Doug Becht, Past-President CAHA, Director Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois; Tom McGee, Past-President CAHA; Peter Rutili, Hockey Director CAHA; Julie Gebhardt, Associate Board Member CAHA; John Price, Associate Board Member CAHA.