Robitaille shootout a success once again
It may not have had the implications of the NHL games played on Sunday afternoon, but the Luc Robitaille Celebrity Shootout held at the Park City Ice Arena had an impact all its own.
The event, now in its second year, was created by the former National Hockey League star along with wife, Stacia, to raise money for their charity, Echoes of Hope, which benefits foster children.
The event brought together a mix of former NHL stars and hockey-playing celebrities in town for the Sundance Film Festival. One team was coached by Luc and celebrity Tom Arnold and the other by Stacia and celebrity Andie MacDowell. Although it was just a charity game, there was plenty of action on the ice. After numerous lead changes, a last-second goal by Luc’s team that gave it the 12-11 victory.
According to Stacia, the event was all she could have hoped for and more. Well, almost all.
"I’m not happy about the loss," she said, laughing.
This year, after the game, the party continued at ChefDance and an after-party in the basement of Harry O’s.
"We had a great turnout," Stacia said. "I’m so happy about everyone being here."
Everyone included athletes like Tony Amonte and Marcel Dionne and celebrities
Dave Annabelle, Jason Reitman and Cuba Gooding Jr., who was a fan favorite. Even reggae singer Matisyahu got in on the act, contacting the Robitailles just days before the fundraiser and asking if he could be a part.
Echoes of Hope was created after Stacia spent much of 2005 and 2006 helping children with the relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. The Robitailles were awakened to the harsh youth foster system in the country and decided to focus their efforts on helping foster children and emancipated youth, who were previously in the foster-care system as kids, get a good start in the world. Fifty percent of emancipated and foster teens who don’t receive continued support after high school will end up homeless.
An auction was also part of the festivities, which included a signed electric guitar for $3,000 and other smaller items.
The beneficiaries of the Echoes of Hope charity were also part of the event. Jevon Wilkes, Roshell Davis and her brother, LaRon Wallace, made the trip from Los Angeles to share the plight of foster children and emancipated foster children and encourage attendees to open their hearts.
Davis celebrated a birthday during the event and even got on the ice for a practice session. Echoes of Hope helped Davis secure her current apartment. She said that, since getting involved in the program, her grades as a senior journalism major at California State University, Northridge, have improved.
"Luc and Stacia are so loving and sweet and genuine," Davis said. "I love their family."
This was the first year participating in the charity event for Brad Norton, who retired from the NHL this past year. The Robitailles had been telling Norton about the event and he was glad to be a part of the fun this year. He also hopes to stay involved in Echoes of Hope.
"It doesn’t take a lot," Norton said. "A chance is all these kids need."
Norton was part of the winning team and said that, even though it was for charity, he was out there to play a serious game.
"You still have pride and want to win," he said.
An athlete of a different kind, skateboarder Mike Vallely was one of the many charity participants. A self-taught hockey player, Vallely said he jumped at the chance to participate in the game and contribute to Echoes of Hope.
"Anytime you can do the things you love and help someone, it’s a great thing," he said.
For more information on Echoes of Hope, visit http://www.echoesofhope.com. The shootout also benefited local organizations including Park City Wasatch Back Youth Hockey Association and the Park City Predators women’s hockey team.
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