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Icing on the skate: Fun and fundraising baked into annual hockey game with Avs alumni and community members

Stirling Cup PHOTOS.jpg
Courtesy of Aspen Junior Hockey
Aspen Junior Hockey players pose for a photo on the rink. Proceeds from Saturday's charity hockey game at Lewis Ice Arena will help support the organization.

Aspen Junior Hockey will host its annual “Aspen Leafs and Avalanche Alumni” charity game Saturday night while celebrating 50 years of youth hockey in the community.

It’s a friendly game of hockey with some longtime community members on the rink, as well as a cohort of alumni from the NHL's Colorado Avalanche.

The event is tied to the Stirling Cup fundraiser, which also includes a golf tournament in September.

Harlan Pratt, executive director of Aspen Junior Hockey, said this fundraiser is entering its 21st year and features plenty of previous participants. He believes that says a lot about what this community values.

“It speaks volumes for the type of character that the Aspen community has and the type of people that are involved in wanting to give back to youth sports,” Pratt said.

Longtime Aspenite Jody Cooper founded the Stirling Cup in the memory of her late husband, Stirling Cooper. She said the longevity of the fundraiser speaks to Stirling’s impact and legacy.

“I actually feel like he knows that it's happening,” she said. “And I think he is still amazed that so many people loved him, and our kids basically, that this event has continued on.”

Saturday's game begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Lewis Ice Arena in the Aspen Recreation Center. Admission is free.


Kaya Williams is the Edlis Neeson Arts and Culture Reporter at Aspen Public Radio, covering the vibrant creative and cultural scene in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. She studied journalism and history at Boston University, where she also worked for WBUR, WGBH, The Boston Globe and her beloved college newspaper, The Daily Free Press. Williams joins the team after a stint at The Aspen Times, where she reported on Snowmass Village, education, mental health, food, the ski industry, arts and culture and other general assignment stories.