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Two young ladies from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, Gillian Jackson (Philadelphia) and Alivia Bates (Camden), were among the 10 winners of Billie Jean King Character Award Scholarships.

The Billie Jean King Character Award distributes $10,000 in scholarships to ten young people, ages 10-18, who are or are seeking to become a competitive athlete or to compete on their school team and have displayed outstanding character in their lives. The goal of the award is to reward and exemplify those who have displayed good character, integrity and fortitude.

It is notable that a new precedent was set this year, as this award has previously always been given to tennis players. In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, the awards committee felt it most appropriate to open the award to young ladies that compete in other sports. Our young hockey enthusiasts are the only non-tennis players among the 10 award winners and the first-ever non-tennis players to ever win this award.

Gillian and Alivia will receive their awards this Thursday, July 19, at the Philadelphia Freedoms match from WTT co-founder Billie Jean King and tennis legend, Chris Evert. They will be given the opportunity to have dinner with Billie Jean King and Chrissie, as well as a $1,000 book award, and an invitation to attend a free two-hour character and leadership course, which will help them learn more about the importance of character and teach it to others.

The leadership course is designed and implemented by the Hamlin Family Foundation specifically to address the problems caused by the declining emphasis of the importance of character in our society.

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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