THE FLINT FIREBIRDS visited Robert Kerr Elementary in Durand on Wednesday, Feb. 5 to present team t-shirts to the 310 students who attended a Firebirds game in November. During the game, Robert Kerr Principal Amy Holek was randomly selected to take part in the second intermission shootout challenge, which she won, earning t-shirts for everyone in her section. Since her students took up more than one section of the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, where the Firebirds play, and to ensure every student received a shirt, arrangements were made for the team to hand-deliver the shirts at a later date.
Delivering the t-shirts were Flint Firebirds Marketing Director Dominic Gutierrez, team mascot Hot Wing and the owners of Zodiac Enterprises, Kevin and Julia Smithwick, who produced the t-shirts. Hot Wing did not address the students but assisted Gutierrez in getting the youngsters fired up. Gutierrez spoke to the students briefly on Wednesday, emphasizing the importance of homework, staying in school, teamwork, honesty and hard work.
Gutierrez asked a few students what they learned at the game, hoping to hear stories about the game reinforcing lessons the students had learned in school. One student answered that the experience opened her eyes to how enjoyable the game of hockey is, and one student mentioned that the game taught him that fighting was not a good idea. Gutierrez’s hopes were restored, however, when Principal Holek pointed out that the students had achieved a number of goals over a two-month period in the fall to earn the chance to go to the game.
While the visit was organized mostly for the students to receive their shirts, Principal Holek made sure to recognize the Durand Educational Foundation and the Robert Kerr PTAC for funding the trip in the first place.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)