By Michael Caples –
At this point in his life, Stephan “Scuba” Beauvais doesn’t have much to complain about.
The senior captain of the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s hockey team has scouts coming to his games. He’s about to graduate from a prestigious prep school. And he’s got all the makings of a terrific hockey family around him.
But it’s not enough for Scuba. Affected by the loss of a family friend to cancer, Scuba decided it was time to give back.
“I was at the peak of my life,” Scuba said. “I’m a captain at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, I’m a good hockey player, I’ve got these teams talking to me, I’m going to graduate. And I kind of realized, there are people out there, there are kids out there, that aren’t as fortunate as me. They can’t play hockey, they’ll never be able to have the opportunities that I’ve had.”
Scuba –the nickname was requested in mini-mites after he watched the movie “Big Daddy” – decided to help those less fortunate with what he knows best – hockey. With a little help from his friends and family, Scuba has founded the Hockey for Hope 3-on-3 tournament, to be played on April 28-29th at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s ice arena. Scuba, along with various other varsity captains from across the state, are organizing the tournament to raise money for Angels of Hope, a foundation that assists families who have children battling cancer.
“I look around and see all these other kids that I’ve been playing hockey with all through the years – we’re all spread out now,” Scuba said. “I’ve got kids playing for Brother Rice, Catholic Central, De La Salle, and whatnot. I was like, there’s got to be a way where we can all get together, and give back to these kids. I only know one thing, and it’s hockey. So I said, you know what, I can figure out a way to get all these people involved, and use hockey to help the Angels of Hope foundation.
“Angels of Hope basically is, they give money and help to families of kids who have pediatric cancer. They go in and, say you’re at the hospital all the time, your house struggles, you don’t have a lot of time to do anything, so they hire tutors to come in and tutor your kids, landscapers come in to fix up the lawn, maids to clean the house a little bit, and just give these families some help when their kids are in the hospital.”
Scuba’s father, Mark, introduced him to some of the leaders of Angels of Hope to help his son get started. However, he insists that this was all Scuba’s idea.
“I’ve been talking to these parents,” Mark said, “and I can’t tell you how many of these parents have said, “This is awesome, do you know that we had a family member that died of cancer? That so-and-so’s sister died of cancer? That so-and-so’s mom died of cancer? It’s unbelievable. It’s touched all of us. And I’m telling you, I didn’t promote this with him. It’s his deal.”
Other captains involved in the event include Mackenzie MacEachern of Brother Rice (volunteer chair), Cameron Heath of Cranbrook (upperclassmen recruiting), and Jack Aliotta of De La Salle (underclassmen recruiting). The tournament will consist of two divisions, a senior competition and an underclassmen competition. Scuba said it would mean one more chance for seniors to share the ice with their teammates, and help others at the same time.
He’s also got some star power on his side. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s alum Jeff Petry heard about the event, and personally approached Stephan during a practice to tell him he would be donating autographed sticks for the 50/50 raffle. Petry’s father, Dan, the famed Tigers pitcher, will also be assisting with the event. Toss in some help from Red Wings alum Shawn Burr, a cancer survivor himself, and some of the current Red Wings, and Scuba is well on his way to assembling a unique fundraising tournament that is sure to accomplish Scuba’s goal.
Mark said his son has done a wonderful job of managing the responsibilities of being a student-athlete and a young leader of a charitable effort. However, Scuba had to remind him that his attention will shift fully to the tournament on March 11.
Why the specific date? It just so happens that state titles are awarded on March 10.
For more information on the tournament, visit the official blog here. Michigan Hockey will have more coverage of this tournament throughout the next few months.