Recently, Representative David Biele skated in the 4th Annual Heroes vs. Legislators charity hockey game to benefit the Skate for the 22 Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support services to over 375 veterans and their families across Massachusetts.
Founded in 2015 by a group of veterans, the Foundation gets its name from a staggering mental health statistic—military and veteran agencies estimate that an estimated twenty-two veterans take their lives each day.
In response to those numbers, the Foundation was created with three core goals: create a supportive, team environment for veterans through camaraderie and the sport of hockey at no cost; raise public awareness and provide prevention services to help veterans who may be struggling; and provide financial assistance to families of veterans who commit suicide.
To achieve these goals, the Foundation sponsors learn-to-skate programs and organizes hockey games for veterans of all skills and abilities. It also provides access to confidential mental health care for veterans and their families. To support these efforts, the Foundation engages in extensive fundraising, including charity hockey games with the Boston Bruins Alumni and the Boston Fire Department. When the Foundation first started, it served 18 veterans. In just four years, that number has grown exponentially and the Foundation now supports over 375 veterans and their families.
“It was an honor to skate with these heroes, listen to their stories, and learn how programs like the Skate for the 22 Foundation make a tremendous impact in their lives,” said Rep. Biele. “These brave men and women risked their lives for our freedom. It is our responsibility to listen to our veterans, understand their needs, and then do everything that we can to support our veterans and their families.” For more information on the Skate for the 22 Foundation, please visit: www.skateforthe22.org.