Clark Park Classic

$5,055 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 25 months
M.L. Elrick  DETROIT, MI
Learn more about Clark Park
FROM THE DESK OF M.L. ELRICK:

I'll never forget the first time I met Clark Park Executive Director Anthony Benavides.
It was at a coaching clinic, and Anthony gave a brief spiel about Clark Park, concluding: "Only in Detroit could a Mexican man teach black kids to play hockey."
It was a funny line that captured the beauty of Southwest Detroit, a neighborhood where EVERYONE comes together to help the city thrive.
It's been several years since that first meeting, but we've kept in touch over the years. In 2014, I started hosting an annual outdoor game at Clark Park for guys I skate with from all over metro Detroit.
My friendship with Anthony, admiration for the volunteers and leaders of the Clark Park Coalition, a desire to do more for city kids, and the support of my bosses at Fox 2 all contributed to the creation of the inaugural Clark Park Winter Carnival Hockey Classic.
The game will be played at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28 on Clark Park's amazing outdoor rink.
This is me under the moonlight at Clark Park last month.

The game has one helluva long name, but that's appropriate. Appropriate because as the town square of Southwest Detroit, Clark Park has a lot to offer -- and because we want to raise a lot of money to support the park and its wonderful programs!
The game will capture both Detroit's chippy spirit and the sportsmanship inherent in hockey, and not just because the teams will be led by me and prominent criminal defense attorney Mike Rataj.
Rataj and I don't always see eye-to-eye when we're on the same story/case, but even when we disagree, we're rarely disagreeable. I'm terrible hockey player and Rataj is pretty damn good. And in the true spirit of hockey, we always shake hands at the end of the day.
Every player who will take the ice with us has made a generous donation to help support the Clark Park Coalition. The purpose of this gofundme campaign is to allow people who can't play in the game (or attend the game) to support youth programs from the comfort of their keyboard.
All funds raised will go to the Clark Park Coalition, which was formed in 1991 when the City of Detroit closed Clark Park during a fiscal crisis. Parents and residents of Southwest Detroit created the Coalition, which works with the Detroit Recreation Department to keep the park open. 
Today, Clark Park offers year round activities for thousands of young people. Activities include ice hockey and skating on the park's outstanding outdoor rink, and free lunches for more than 100 kids a day throughout the summer.
In recent years, rock star Jack White, who grew up near the park, helped rehabilitate one of the park's ballfields. In 2014, the NHL donated a Zamboni resurfacing machine for the rink during the NHL Winter Classic festivities, which culminated in a game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The outdoor rink is both a throwback to the days of Ol' Tyme Hockey and one of Detroit's winter treasures.
Please help keep this important resource alive and well for future generations of Detroiters, as well as visitors to one of the city's most dynamic neighborhoods!
Thank you in advance for your generousity,
ml
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Update 5
Posted by M.l. Elrick
2 months ago
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Thank you so much for your generosity supporting the Clark Park Coalition and our effort to support kids and families in Southwest Detroit with an outdoor charity hockey game!
This year's game will be on Saturday, Feb. 25th at 6:30 p.m.
As always, the game will be free and we'd love to see you there.
While we are no longer using GoFundMe, we are still gratefully accepting contributions for this year's campaign. If you would like to give again, please use the following link:
https://www.patronicity.com/project/clark_park_outdoor_classic#/
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Update 4
Posted by M.l. Elrick
13 months ago
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Folks, I'm pleased to share this wonderful column by my friend, former colleague and mentor Neal Rubin that appeared in today's Detroit News! We are not just raising money, we're raising awareness of the great work being done at Clark Park! Thank you for what you have done to support what some are calling an oasis in our city!
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/neal-rubin/2016/02/22/fox-elrick-hockey-michael-rataj-clark-park/80722062/
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Update 3
Posted by M.l. Elrick
13 months ago
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Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this year's charity game! We would love to thank you in person at Clark Park next Saturday, either during the Winter Carnival from noon to 4 or at the game, which starts at 6:30. Thank you, too, to Fox 2, which this weekend begins airing commercials promoting this most worthy cause.
Come Join Us on Feb. 27, 2016!
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Update 2
Posted by M.l. Elrick
13 months ago
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Preparations are well underway for the 2016 Clark Park Classic, which will take place on Feb. 27.
We had a great time last year and, through the generosity of our players, sponsors and donors like you, we raised more than $12,000 for the kids at Clark Park.
So while I'm hitting you up for this year's effort, please know how much we appreciate your support of last year's inaugural game.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
2015 Clark Park Classic participants
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$5,055 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 25 months
Created February 12, 2015
AG
$75
Amy Gromek
2 months ago

Love giving to the kids. Go coach Rat!!!

MT
$30
Marc Tirikian
2 months ago
$151
Anonymous
2 months ago
MG
$25
mike gentile
2 months ago
MR
$200
Michael Renda
13 months ago
HP
$100
HUEL PERKINS
13 months ago
$100
Deb Sumner
13 months ago

My heart...helping to raise up the kids in our Southwest Detroit community!

$20
Jason Robinson
13 months ago
KK
$50
karen kastely
13 months ago
DS
$50
David Smydra
13 months ago

Remember to high stick, ML!

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