Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, HoneyBaked team up for annual charity game

By @MichaelCaples –

The Oakland Jr. Grizzlies and HoneyBaked will continue their annual tradition of playing a charity game during the holiday season.

At 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 14, the OJG and HB 15-Only teams will meet at the Troy Sports Center for their “Piece of the Puzzle” game, as they raise money for the Autism Alliance of Michigan with the help of Attendant Care Companies.

A minimum of a $3 donation will get you in the door for the game; attendees can make donations online and bring proof to enter or attempt to donate at the door. It is advised that those wishing to attend donate ahead of the event, as there will be limited seating for the game.

Donation link: http://Aaomi.org/hockey

It is the third straight season the two teams have turned one of their contests into a charity game; in 2017, they held a “Movember” game before supporting St. Jude and Toys For Tots last year.

“Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM) is thrilled to be chosen as the benefiting charity of the Honeybaked Hockey Club and the Oakland Junior Grizzlies game on Dec.14, said Jennifer Champion, chief development officer of the AAoM. “This game allows AAoM to continue to provide services for the more than 60,000 people directly impacted by autism in the state of Michigan alone. The incredible philanthropic and community spirit demonstrated by these young athletes, their families/friends and Attendant Care Companies is inspiring. Everyone wins.

“Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder don’t always get the opportunity to enjoy the same events and activities that everyone else does,” said Paul Semian, president of Attendant Care Companies. “Attendant Care Companies is grateful to be a part of this event as it is giving us the chance to bring people together while providing awareness to a cause that is near and dear to us all. At Attendant Care Autism Services, we strive to better the life of every single client, their family, and their community. Autism Alliance of Michigan is a first-class organization that provides unparalleled support and resources to the community and individuals with ASD, and they definitely deserve all the love and support from this event!”

There will be a silent auction and raffle prizes for the fans in attendance at the game, as well, for other ways to support the cause.

“We are so proud to host this wonderful event,” said Dan Riedel, coach of the OJG 15O team. “Partnering with Honeybaked for now the third year in a row to raise money for charity is fantastic. To play a game that raises awareness for autism and will help raise some money for people in need is a wonderful thing. I think our kids really take a step back every year and understand that there is more to life than hockey and participating in this event goes a long way in following our goal in making them great people, not just great athletes.”

The game features a unique twist of it being a Top-5 battle, as well – The HoneyBaked 15-Only Team is ranked No. 1 in the country by MyHockeyRankings.com, while the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies are No. 5. The HB team also just won an International Silver Stick title for their age group.

“On behalf of Honeybaked Hockey, we are proud and excited to partner with the Oakland Junior Grizzlies, Autism Alliance of Michigan, and Attendant Care Autism Services in attempt to bring awareness to Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Jason Deskins, head coach of the HB 15O team. “We thank the Oakland Junior Grizzlies for their perpetual commitment to working with us in our philanthropic endeavors. We would also like to thank Attendant Care Autism Services for their generosity in sponsoring the event as they have made a substantial commitment to its’ success. We hope to have a spirited, respectful, and entertaining game that the community will enjoy while raising funds for, and awareness of, the Autism Alliance of Michigan.”

Two players from the OJG team have been selected to represent USA Hockey at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games – forward Rutger McGroarty and defenseman Hunter Brzustewicz. HoneyBaked will send one player, as well, in forward Frank Nazar.