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Quigley, Emanuel Team Up with Blackhawks for Youth Hockey Clinic at Center on Halsted

Sep 6, 2011
Press Release

CHICAGO -- Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Blackhawks Denis Savard, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Brett McLean for a youth hockey clinic at Center on Halsted in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.  Quigley and the Blackhawks led neighborhood kids in hockey drills, team-building exercises, and scrimmages.  Quigley and Blackhawks Charities also donated hockey equipment for permanent use at the Center.    

"Hockey is for everyone, and it's important that we give kids of all backgrounds the opportunity to play sports," said Congressman Quigley.  "I want to thank the Blackhawks, the Mayor, and Center on Halsted for joining me to help promote an active lifestyle and the greatest game there is."


Rep. Quigley and Mayor Emanuel at the Chicago Blackhawks youth hockey clinic at the Center on Halsted

"I am committed to building a healthier Chicago which focuses on providing children more opportunities to be physically active," said Mayor Emanuel, "Thanks to the Chicago Blackhawks for investing in Chicago's communities and giving children in neighborhoods across the city the opportunity to play hockey and be active."

"The Chicago Blackhawks are proud to partner with U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Center on Halsted on this great initiative," Blackhawks Team President and CEO John McDonough said. "We are appreciative of their support in growing the sport of hockey on a grassroots level while delivering such a positive effect on so many young people in our city."

"Athletics can help young people build confidence and leadership," added Center on Halsted CEO Modesto 'Tico' Valle. "Unfortunately, too many LGBT youth are prevented from participating fully in team sports because of bullying or other obstacles. We're proud to work with Mayor Emanuel, Rep. Quigley, and the Chicago Blackhawks to provide the equipment, the training and the safe environment necessary for LGBT youth to participate. "


Rep. Quigley pictured with Center on Halsted CEO Modesto "Tico" Valle, NHL Hall of Famer Denis Savard, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Tom Tunney, Chicago Blackhawk Niklas Hjalmarsson at the Center on Halsted's youth hockey clinic

The effort coincides with the National Hockey League's "Hockey is for Everyone" program and First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.

Rep. Quigley attended the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-clinching game in Philadelphia and helped the White House plan the Hawks' visit to Washington, D.C. that included a street hockey game for underprivileged youth with President and First Lady Obama.  Quigley also teamed up with the Chicago Blackhawks StreetHawks Team to help kickoff the floor hockey program at the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club in Chicago and founded the Congressional Hockey Caucus to support active and healthy children.  He is an avid Blackhawks fan and plays hockey twice a week. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was instrumental in the construction of Center on Halsted.  In 2005, then-Congressman Emanuel secured $1.25 million for construction from the FY2006 HUD appropriations bill. 

In 2007, Center on Halsted opened its 175,000 sq. ft. building, with Whole Foods Market as the anchor tenant, becoming the nation's most comprehensive Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community center. More than 365,000 community members come to Center on Halsted annually to participate in our diverse programs and services including art and cultural events, athletic programs, HIV testing and counseling, the Illinois STD and HIV/AIDS hotline, youth leadership development, senior services, job training programs and our free community cybercenter. To volunteer, donate or learn more about Center on Halsted, visit

The Chicago Blackhawks, in conjunction with the National Hockey League, are proud sponsors of the StreetHawks hockey program, which partners with approximately 20 locations around Chicago, including Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, The Nettlehorst School, Girls in the Game, Beyond the Ball and various Chicago Public Schools. The program provides children ages six to sixteen the opportunity to participate in sneaker hockey in a safe, supervised and educational environment. The Blackhawks also host the MinorHawks Learn to Play program, which provides free equipment and inexpensive hockey lessons to children, ages four to eight. For more information, visit

High-resolution versions of the above photos are available upon request.