Derek Stepan supports a charity called Defending the Blue Line. A non-profit organization created by a group of active duty soldiers. They help children of military families with the cost of playing hockey. They help cover hockey related expenses through grants and scholarships. Everything from pads to skates are given through donations from sponsors.
“Keeping hockey alive for the children of our nation’s heroes“- Defending the Blue Line
Playing hockey is not a cheap sport. When you factor in the expense of gear and fees, the cost can be overwhelming. That’s where Defending the Blue Line comes in to help. Hundreds of children have been given top of the line hockey gear from this program. The scholarships they award are to training camps where these young players gain skills and technique. Grant money is given to help cover the cost of hockey association fees. Without their assistance, some of these children may not have these opportunities.
Assistance is offered based on status and rank in the military.
Assistance is based on the status and rank of the military parent(s). All branches are encouraged to apply and they even have options for military in Canada. Defending the Blue line is on such a large scale, they rely heavily on sponsors and donors. This helps them offer their services to more families. Luckily, they have several NHL players, teams and partners listed as sponsors. But as with any charity, they are always looking for more more donations.
To show their support, some of the sponsoring teams have donated tickets to their games. The tickets are then given to deserving military families. Assistance is also given in other ways. In 2011, the New York Rangers awarded scholarships to children in memory of Derek Boogaard. These are just a few examples of how teams have become involved.
Derek Stepan is one of many NHL players to support Defending the Blue Line.
Derek Stepan grew up in Hastings, Minnesota. It also happens to be where Defending the Blue Line headquarters is located. In 2011, Derek Stepan participated in a NHL charity hockey game in Cottage Grove, MN. The game benefited both Hastings & Cottage Grove Youth Hockey Association and Defending the Blue Line. Since 2010, he has continued to support their cause. They hope he continues to support them as they are expanding into the New York area. Several NHL Players are listed as supporters on their website. You can click on each player and see how they have contributed. You can see Derek Stepan’s here.
Defending the Blue Line is a charity that is very close to my heart. I can’t think of a better way to support our hockey-loving military families then helping their children play a sport they love. The children they help today, could be the next NHL players in the future. I am so proud of Derek Stepan and the New York Rangers for being involved in this amazing organization.