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BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Metro Source | February 11, 2013

Hasek’s Heroes, an organization founded by NHL great and former Buffalo Sabre Dominik Hasek, which introduces city youth to ice hockey and life skills, has announced the fifth annual Tim Horton’s Backyard Classic outdoor ice hockey tournament generated a record-setting $26,000 in cash, donations and sponsorships.

Net proceeds of the event will be used to construct an educational resource center to expand the organization’s programs and community outreach in Buffalo.

This year’s event featured 35 teams in four divisions including mites, middle school, high school and adult who competed on four outdoor ice rinks set up at The Rose Garden Restaurant in Clarence.

Chris Taggart, territory manager for CertainTeed Fence, Deck and Rail and a Williamsville resident, managed the facility construction effort.

He arranged for more than $12,000 in materials, labor and event support to be donated to the tournament, which doubled the playing surfaces from prior years and will allow for continued growth and future expansion of the event.

Taggart, who serves as co-chair of the tournament, stated, “The construction trades and materials suppliers, including DiVal Safety. 84 Lumber, City Fence, Pace Landscaping and Ice Rinks and corporate sponsorships from Atlantic Bedding, CertainTeed, Jam in the Valley, The Mac Groups, Merchants Insurance, Rand Capital, Buffalo Sabres and Synacr were an integral part of the success of our event. This annual tournament has resulted in hundred of inner city youth being introduced to the game of ice hockey, in addition to providing great community exposure for Hasek’s Heroes. Since it’s founding, the tournament has contributed more than $30,000 to the organization.”

Five years ago, East Amherst resident, Nicholas Penberthy, an honors college student at SUNY Cortland, pursuing a degree in elementary education, founded the tournament in his backyard.

“As a future teacher, the development of an educational resource center for inner-city children of the Hasek’s Heroes program was important to me. I hope to one day teach and mentor kids in these classrooms,” said Penberthy.

“On behalf of all Buffalo-area Tim Horton’s Cafe & Bake Shop restaurant owners, we are very proud to be involved with an event that is focused on supporting the development of local youths,” said Wendy Clark, local Tim Horton’s Cafe & Bake Shop restaurant owner. “The Tim Horton’s Backyard Classic provides kids with a sporting and life experience they will never forget.”

Executive Director of Hasek’s Heroes, Sean Green said, “The hard work of the volunteers and the leadership of Nick Penberthy and Chris Taggart show how giving people can help change the lives of many children.”

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