Carolina Hurricanes form partnership with hockey team of disabled military veterans
The Carolina Hurricanes are partnering with a Raleigh-based ice hockey team program that's made up of disabled military veterans.
Established in 2019, the North Carolina Warriors Hockey Program has more than 70 players — all of them veterans with physical challenges. They often play similar veteran teams from other states. In all, there are 20 such Warriors teams throughout the U.S.
Shane Willis, the Hurricanes' director of community outreach, said the Warriors approached the Hurricanes about forming the partnership. The group will rebrand as the "Carolina Hurricanes Warriors" and use the National Hockey League team's logo.
"These guys have been great, through and through, for the years dealing with COVID and all of the things that everyone's kind of dealt with and staying at task," Willis said. "They couldn't be more excited to be putting on the Carolina Hurricanes logo to be part of an NHL franchise and we just hope that we can continue to move along in a great partnership."
The partnership will provide funding toward tournaments and ice time. In addition, Willis said the Hurricanes organization will use social media to spread the word about the Warriors program.
Willis said the Hurricanes organization's purpose isn't just to "cut a check."
"We want a working partnership with them," Willis said
The 21 Warriors teams are focused on providing an athletic outlet, with a sense of therapy and comradery for its members, according to the N.C. Warriors' website.
"Partnering with the Carolina Hurricanes further legitimizes our organization to accomplish this mission by reaching an even larger audience of veterans, veteran supporters and donors to grow our program," said North Carolina Warriors Fundraising Coordinator Kyle Siordia. "This is a huge step forward for our organization, and we are excited to grow with the Hurricanes in 2022 and beyond."