(Photo: Dubuque Fighting Saints)
DUBUQUE, Iowa – On Monday, the Dubuque Fighting Saints presented a check to the Dubuque Veteran’s Freedom Center to the total of $13,309.60. A postgame jersey auction on Military Appreciation Night, which featured special, one-of-a-kind camouflage-themed jerseys with military branch crests on the back, raised all of the money towards the center.
“The people of the Tri-State area have shown great support of the Veteran’s Freedom Center through jersey auctions and many other initiatives,” said Jim Wagner, the co-founder and director of the Veteran’s Freedom Center. “Every dime that comes into the Veteran’s Freedom Center goes right to the veterans.”
Willie Knierim’s jersey raised $1,250 alone, which was the most money raised during this year’s auction on one jersey.
This season marked the fifth consecutive season that the Fighting Saints donated to the Veteran’s Freedom Center, which exists to meet the needs of active duty, reserve, and honorably discharged veterans in the Tri-State area.
“My father-in-law, who served in the Navy, was there on [Military Appreciation Night], and I thought a lot about my grandfather, who served in World War II,” head coach/GM Jason Lammers said. “Many of our players know somebody who does or did serve in the armed forces. The message on that night inspired our players to victory.”
Military Appreciation Night, hosted on November 13 at the Mystique Community Ice Center, was sponsored by Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen and Fazoli’s. The special jerseys were created and funded by the Dubuque County Commission of Veterans Affairs.
About the Dubuque Fighting Saints
The Fighting Saints returned to USHL play in the brand new Mystique Community Ice Center during the 2010-11 Season, winning the Clark Cup in their first year back in the USHL. The Fighting Saints continued their success with a historic season in 201213, finishing with a franchise best 4511‐8 record. The team claimed the Anderson Cup as the USHL’s regular season champions for the first time in 30 years, and also earned the Clark Cup for second time in three seasons. In August 2013, the team took the Bronze Medal while representing the United States at the Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia. The club has produced a number of players that moved on to NCAA Division I hockey and have been drafted by NHL teams, including Zemgus Girgensons and Johnny Gaudreau. The original Fighting Saints competed in the USHL for 21 seasons (1980‐2001). The Club won the Clark Cup as playoff champions on three occasions (1981, 1983, 1985) under head coach Jack Barzee. One of the most well-known alumni of the original Fighting Saints was Gary Suter, a 17‐year NHL veteran, two time Olympian, Stanley Cup winner, and member of the US Hockey Hall of Fame.
About Northern Lights Hockey, LLC
Northern Lights Hockey, LLC is the company that owns and operates the USHL franchise in Dubuque, Iowa. The owners of Northern Lights Hockey, LLC collectively provide an extensive background in both business and hockey, and represent interests on a national and local level. Philip Falcone, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of HC2 Holdings, Inc. and former part owner of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, is the company’s principal owner. The ownership group also includes Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Mark Falcone, and Brad Kwong, Managing Partner of Northern Lights Hockey, LLC. Philip Falcone, Chiarelli and Kwong all played hockey together at Harvard University in the mid- 1980’s. The group also includes local Iowan partners Mark Falb and David S. Field, M.D. Falb currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Westmark Enterprises, Inc. and Kendall / Hunt Publishing Company. Dr. Field has practiced orthopedic surgery for 30 years and has been the driving force behind hockey in Dubuque. Dr. Field also owned the Dubuque Thunderbirds, the USA Hockey Tier III team that competed in the Central States Hockey League through the 2009-10 Season.