The first three youngsters to receive scholarship awards from the Ryan Gordon/Hartford Wolf Pack Community Scholars Fund at Trinity College were honored at the April 1 Wolf Pack game at Hartford’s XL Center. The fund was established in 2007 through a grant from the Hartford Wolf Pack Community Foundation, made possible by a generous gift from the late Ryan Gordon.
Ryan, an avid Wolf Pack fan who wanted to become a hockey play-by-play announcer, wanted to help others achieve their hockey dreams. The Ryan Gordon/Hartford Wolf Pack Community Scholars Fund is a permanent fund providing scholarships to Hartford children so that they can enroll in the Learn to Play Ice Hockey Program at Trinity’s Koeppel Community Sports Center.
The first three recipients and the Hartford schools they attend are: Joshua Huffman, an 8th grader at Saint Augustine School; Marcus Pagan, a 6th grader at Bellizzi Middle School; and Ernesto Roque, in the 7th grade at Saint Augustine School. They were selected by a committee comprised of Trinity College and Koeppel Community Sports Center staff and had the opportunity to meet Ryan’s parents, Barry and Phyllis Gordon of Wallingford, at the Wolf Pack game.
“It was wonderful to meet these three young men, who showed such excitement for the game of hockey, and such appreciation for the opportunity to learn to play the game,” said Phyllis Gordon. “On a more personal note, it was truly heartwarming and gratifying to see Ryan’s wishes come to fruition with the honoring of Joshua, Marcus, and Ernesto.”
Jason Rojas, director of community relations at Trinity College, said, “It means a great deal to us that Trinity could join with Ryan’s parents and the Hartford Wolf Pack to find this way to honor Ryan’s memory and realize his dream of helping others.”
After battling a life-threatening illness, 19-year-old Ryan decided shortly before his death in 2006 that part of the funds set aside for his college education should help others. His parents worked with the Wolf Pack Community Foundation and Trinity College to establish the Ryan Gordon/Hartford Wolf Pack Community Scholars Fund at Trinity. Up to 1,000 Hartford children a week come to Trinity’s Koeppel Community Sports Center on New Britain Avenue to participate in Learn to Skate and Learn to Play Hockey programs. Members of Trinity’s hockey teams and figure skating club assist with instruction on the state-of-the-art 200-foot by 90-foot Albert Creighton Williams ’64 Rink.
“For Trinity, our community skating and hockey programs are about more than teaching kids to ice skate and play hockey,” said Rojas. “These programs introduce the children to the College and college-age role models, and help them to see higher education as within their reach.”
For more information, visit www.hartfordwolfpack.com and click on Community Foundation and then Ryan Gordon-Wolf Pack Community Scholars Fund.
See more photos of the first three award recipients when they were honored at the April 1 Wolf Pack game at Hartford’s XL Center.