Coachella Valley Youth Ice Hockey Program
     Katie Evans spoke at Rotary this past Friday.  A few years back, Katie, Communications Director for the Coachella Valley Water District, heard her pre-school son Tyler say, "Mom, I want to play ice hockey!".
     Katie found some other moms with kids who wanted to play ice hockey as well. These "Hockey Moms" formed the Coachella Valley Youth Hockey program.
     One Mom said recently, "Never thought I would ever be a parent sitting in a ice rink watching my kid play hockey...we do live in the desert. but there is a great program here in the desert and the CVYHF is a huge part of it."
     Today the CVYH program involves three teams of boys and girls who form the "Desert Blaze". The children are formed into teams by age groupings: Under 8, between 8 and 10, and between 10 and 12.
     Many of these children learn to play ice hockey at home; then they join the Desert Blaze, they practice at the Desert Ice Castle in Cathedral City, and their families take them to tournaments in Arizona, San Diego, Orange County and other parts of Riverside County.
     The families whose children participate know how expensive the sport is. They rent the entire Desert Ice Castle for practice. They purchase hockey gear. They travel on weekends and stay in hotels and pay to participate in the tournaments. Each tournament charges $2000 for a team to play.
     A hockey "Gear Store" has been created with a website for donating and/or purchasing youth ice hockey gear. The store collects gear that youth have outgrown and then sells the skates, uniforms, hockey sticks, etc., for a reduced price.
     To build a financial base for the team, four "Hockey Moms" have created the Coachella Valley Youth Hockey Foundation. Businesses in the Valley such as MacDonalds and Walmart have made contributions along with a number of individuals. Recently a local MacDonalds set aside a day where the Foundation received 30% of the profits for that day.
     The Foundation is described in Facebook at and the website is  The Gear Store is at