Hockey Blog In Canada is proud to present another charitable organization today that is geared towards helping children. Hinote's Heroes, an organization started by NHL player Dan Hinote, is working to fund cancer research at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, as well as provide positive environments in hospitals for the treatment of children's ailments. Through Mr. Hinote's organization, the St. Louis Children's Hospital has been able to provide children staying at the hospital with many things to make their stays more enjoyable, including XBox 360s, DVD players, laptop computers, tickets to St. Louis Blues games, and visits from NHL players.
Mission Statement: Directly from the Hinote's Heroes website, the organization is "dedicated to providing children and their families with opportunities for continued quality of life during their time in the hospital". They do this by providing support to both the children staying at the hospital and to the staff working at the hospital. However, the funds raised by Hinote's Heroes goes towards helping as many children as possible who have been admitted to hospitals.
How Did Hinote's Heroes Start?: Hinote's Heroes was found in 2004 by St. Louis Blues' forward Dan Hinote. Hinote is better known as a gritty agitator with the Blues, but it was a teammate who got him started in working with the children of St. Louis and Denver.
"When I first came into the League, I was roommates with Shjon Podein, who has a big children's foundation," Hinote explained to NHL.com's Nancy Koenig. "I would go to his events and see the difference he was making in these kids' lives and realized I wanted to do something like that for a group of unfortunate people."
Podein started Team25, a very popular charitable organization amongst NHLPA members. However, it was a family member who actually inspired Mr. Hinote to being his foundation to help children. With the help of his sister, Missy Christensen, Hinote's Heroes became a reality.
"Dan was very much a part of my decision to move to Colorado," Missy Christensen said to Miss Koenig. "When a job came up in the Bone Marrow Transplant at The Children's Hospital, I immediately called him and asked what he thought."
Hinote encouraged his sister, a pediatric nurse practitioner, to pursue the opportunity. Along with family friend, Jason Berrett, the brother-and-sister team started up Hinote's Heroes. The Elk River, Minnesota native spoke about one of his first visits to the children's hospital in Denver.
"There was a boy named Phil I'd gone to see a few times," Hinote recalled. "John Liles and I went to the hospital to give him a jersey he'd requested. When we got there, 12 or so family members were in there crying because they'd been told he'd relapsed and wasn't going to make it. And there he is, giving us the thumbs up. He's got all those tubes, but he's trying to be so tough, meanwhile you know he's not going to make it through the night. He took a picture for me with the jersey on, giving me the thumbs up. I have that in my room. After the game, I got a game puck to give to him, not knowing he'd passed away that night. Things like that stick with you for the rest of your life."
Through experiences like this, Dan Hinote pledged to help children whenever he could.
On October 22, 2007, Dan Hinote brought smiles to the faces of children in the St. Louis Children's Hospital by providing them with ten laptop computers and twelve XBoxes for the kids to use. Mr. Hinote and his fiancée, Amy McCarthy, delivered the new equipment to the hospital to a number of ecstatic children.
"If we can keep the kids happy at all times, as much as they can be in this environment, then I think overall, you’re going to see kids improve," Hinote said to Chris Pinkert of St. Louis Blues Online. "If that means having laptops, Xboxes, DVD players, trips or tickets to a game, if we can help keep the morale on a higher level, I think their treatments will work that much better."
Hinote's Heroes also held a fundraising event at the October 27, 2007 St. Louis Blues game where they raised $3700 for a blanket warmer for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Pediatric oncology unit.
As well, Mr. Hinote particpates in the Bash on the Beach every summer in Elk River. It's a day of volleyball, bocce ball, horseshoes, and a ton of fun while raising money for the Hinote's Heroes Foundation. Last year's event looked to be a great time, and this year's event will most likely top that.
How Can I Help?: I'll start with the donation portion first. Hinote's Heroes accepts online donations, and that would probably be the best way to make a donation. Tax receipts are available if you donate, so it's good for their bottom line as well as yours!
While it's not completely up-and-running yet, Hinote's Heroes is also bringing its store online so you can purchase some of their merchandise. The best part of the store is that 100% of profits is going directly into the organization, meaning you're helping children directly with your purchase. Click back here to get your Hinote's Heroes gear!
If you have any questions about the foundation's work, please email Mr. Hinote directly at dan-at-hinotesheroes-dot-org. If you would like information regarding events that Hinote's Heroes is involved in, please email Mindy Myrhe at mindy-at-hinotesheroes-dot-org. If you prefer to contact Hinote's Heroes via telephone, they can be reached at (303) 261-2613. And, of course, there's always the old-fashioned snail mail route. You can send them a letter or donation at:
1310 S Duquesne Cir
Aurora, CO 80018
Hinote's Heroes, the NHLPA, and the foundation's namesake, Dan Hinote, are helping the communities they live in. It's time for us to help them as well.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!