NHL players are regular people just like you and me!
I think I’d have a difficult time convincing Spider-Man of that fact as he simply can’t get past the awe of those who’ve made it “to the show.”
However, when his stint in hockey was over, with a Stanley Cup held over his head and a shiny ring on his finger…Joe DiPenta wanted to do what so many of us want to do.
To settle in the place he was raised…where he, in turn, could raise his own family.
Joe had tossed the idea around a few times…an offer to work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was drawing him in…and then, his Grandmother was diagnosed with the blood disease…a sign that what he was doing was indeed, the right decision.
Last year, Joe arrived in Halifax (settling in Dartmouth despite my attempts to lure him over the bridge!) As the first of the Cole Harbour players to make it to the NHL, Joe has many fond memories of his time as a young player in Dartmouth.
“My most memorable minor hockey moment was when I was in PeeWee and my Cole Harbour team won the Hostess Cup Atlantic Championships in St Johns, NL, in 1993. We were playing the final game and losing 5-1 with 10 minutes to go. We won the game 6-5 in OT. It was a very exciting game!”
And with a great many happy memories behind him…Joe wants to give back.
“I joined LLS after I retired and graduated from Cal Sate Long Beach. After I was offered the position and during my consideration, my grandmother was diagnosed with Leukemia. That’s when I knew it was meant to be. On top of that, the organization has been a part of helping local cancer patients get access to cures, treatments patient support programs for many years. After being in the position for 1 year there is no where else that I would rather be. Seeing the difference we are making for blood cancer patients continues to touch my heart.”
With a career as a hockey player behind him and a passion to help people in Nova Scotia, Joe has come up with an amazing idea.
On August 9th, 10th, 16th and 23rd, Joe DiPenta will be offering clinics to Novice and Atom hockey players. They’ll have the opportunity to learn from Joe and take photos with his Stanley Cup ring. The cost, $80 for four 1 hour hockey clinic sessions…but here’s the clincher…100% of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and not only that, but Investors Group has offered to match every dollar raised. (Check out the details and register here.)
A few years ago, my Uncle was diagnosed with Leukemia and has faced many ups and downs as he battles the disease. Added to that, Spider-Man is named after a wonderful man who lost his battle with Leukemia 20 years ago. This cause touches my heart deeply.
Next month, when Joe laces up his skates to give a little back to the community he grew up in, Spider-Man will be by his side…volunteering his time and learning from one of the best.
A truly, wonderful, man…who happened to make it to the show.