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Thunderbirds Honored with Champion of Youth Award

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Thunderbirds were honored on Wednesday night with the Champion of Youth Award by the Springfield Boys & Girls Club.

The award was presented to the Thunderbirds in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the youth, community and Boys & Girls Clubs.

“We were thrilled with the way the (Springfield Thunderbirds) players and coaches embraced the youth at the club,” said Vincent Borello, the executive director of the Springfield Boys & Girls Club. “But it was the follow up that truly impressed me. From coming to the club to teach kids about hockey, to the players handing out teddy bears to more than 400 kids at Christmas and ‘Boomer’ attending several events giving kids hugs and happiness, the Thunderbirds are more than a hometown team. They are an extended family and true Champions of Youth.”

The Thunderbirds additionally were involved with the Boys and Girls Club in the winter months as defenseman Ian McCoshen joined the children for floor hockey, crafts, and other activities. For his involvement, McCoshen was awarded the 2016-17 Thunderbirds’ Man of the Year honor.

“We’re honored to be selected as the recipients of the Champion of Youth award; our team made it a priority to be a pillar of the Springfield community in our first season, and we could not be more pleased with the opportunities granted to us by the Springfield Boys and Girls Club,” said Thunderbirds Executive Vice President Nathan Costa. “We would like to thank Vinny Borello, the staff and children at the club for opening their doors to us, and we hope that this is just the beginning of a longstanding relationship in the years to come.”

Combining their efforts with the Boys and Girls Club and a wide variety of other community outreach ventures, the Springfield Thunderbirds raised more than $50,000 in charitable donations in their first year.

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