Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

Michigan Warriors celebrating expansion to West Michigan with May 6 event in Grand Rapids

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

By @MichaelCaples –

The Michigan Warriors are expanding to West Michigan, and they’re having a party to celebrate.

On May 6, the “Michigan Warrior Day” will take place at Grand Rapids’ Patterson Ice Center to introduce people in the area to the Michigan Warriors Hockey Program – a group of wounded or injured veterans who share a love for the sport.

“It has been and will continue to be a lot of work, but expanding our program and mission to the West side of Michigan will enable us to help so many more disabled veterans,” said JD Dunn, chief of hockey operations for the Warriors. “Watching this program grow is still amazing to me. Knowing that we will soon have the Grand Rapids region up and running and that we will be helping veterans out there makes all of the effort worth it.”

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There will be a series of events throughout the day, all designed to welcome potential new players to the Michigan Warriors program. All Warriors players meet the following criteria: “having served in the Military (with DD214 as proof), a disability rating through the VA of 10% or greater and/or a Purple Heart (pending VA claims are also accepted on a case by case basis with restrictions in some Warriors tournaments).”

The Warriors program provides the opportunity to “play hockey in a safe and adaptive environment, as well as to provide a place for disabled veterans to form friendships and network” – at little to no cost for the participants.

The day’s events:

  • A stick-and-puck skate open skate for qualified veterans with skating experience from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • A Try Hockey For Free event for qualified veterans with no previous skating experience from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; equipment will be provided.
  • An information session about the MWHP – with a free lunch – after the two on-ice sessions.
  • A game between the Michigan Warriors and the Michigan State Police Hockey Team at 3:30 p.m.

Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit the Autism Support of Kent County (ASK); the two teams taking part in the 3:30 p.m. game will be taking part in the 2017 Walk For Autism the next day at the John Ball Zoo. ASK helps support the West Michigan Special Hockey Association.

“Tying in a charity game with the Michigan State Police is exciting – I am told they have some good hockey players,” Dunn said. “But at the end of the day, raising money for ASK is the primary focus and we are proud to be able to help.”

For more information, contact Dunn at

MiHockey Staff

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