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Two young men from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation will compete in the 2012 NHL Willie O’Ree Skills Showcase in Buffalo, NY, from Friday, February 17 through Sunday, February 19. This weekend is part of the National Hockey League’s “Hockey Is for Everyone” campaign.

Kaseir Archie, 15, of Philadelphia, and Carlos (CJ) Diaz, 16, of Camden, NJ, will represent Snider Hockey in skating, passing, and shooting competitions with participants from other NHL "Hockey Is For Everyone" programs throughout North America in this three-day program. The two participants were selected for their outstanding commitment to their off-ice, in-classroom achievements, and their passion for the game.

“We are thrilled to be able to deliver once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as these to our participants,” said Scott Tharp, President of Snider Hockey. “These two young men are very deserving of this honor, and we are very excited to provide them with this experience to compete with youngsters from so many other NHL cities.”

As part of the weekend, Archie and Diaz, along with Snider Hockey’s Jim Britt, who is serving as a chaperone, will visit Niagara Falls and dine at LaNova’s Pizza to sample their famous Pizza and Buffalo Wings. The group will attend the Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens game at First Niagara Center on Friday, February 17, where on Sunday, Feb 19 they will also play in the Willie O’Ree Skills Showcase Hockey Game.

Flyers founder Ed Snider created Snider Hockey in 2005 as a personal commitment to introduce the sport of hockey and skating to inner city children, particularly those who otherwise would never have such opportunity. The Foundation uses the sport of ice hockey as its “hook” to bring a diverse population of children together, enabling them to enjoy a top-notch sports experience coupled with an array of educational activities, and a nationally acclaimed life skills curriculum. The program has rapidly grown to include over 3,000 participants in just its seventh full season.

The mission of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation is to build lives and unite communities and succeeds by using the sport of hockey to help educate young people to succeed in the game of life. The program incorporates on-ice and off-ice activities, stressing citizenship, academics, and life skills. Snider Hockey services are targeted for boys and girls who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn to skate or to play ice hockey. The Foundation provides equipment, ice time, and experienced coaching at no cost. The Foundation partners with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, the Camden, New Jersey School District, and the School District of Philadelphia to bring its programs to 10 sites throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region to children from over 100 public schools.

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