The Jonny O 3 on 3 culminated with so many incredible stories centered on the goodness of people and the love that people have for Jon Orelt. His teammates Jared Schmierbach and Matt Heath stepped up to lead an incredible event for their fellow teammate of the Fighting Amish Hockey Club. While Matt and Jared had the hockey operations, Jonny’s girlfriend and caretaker, Amber Tegtmeier organized an incredible silent auction. Jonny’s parents, Al and Dawn Orelt, were busy getting donations and selling raffle tickets that brought in even more revenue. Vendors like Centre Ice Brewery, Not to Slabby BBQ, the St. Louis Blues Alumni, Skate Tech, and of course Sean Hazelton and the affton Ice Rink all kicked back to the cause! Generous sponsors and in-kind donations helped to maximize the collective efforts to help Jonny O in his continued recovery.
Some highlights of the weekend included Charles Glenn, the voice of the St. Louis Blues, lending his amazing talent to the national anthem before the charity game between the Fighting Amish and the Metro Union Hockey Club. The Fighting Amish won the hard-fought game 6-5 on Saturday night. Sunday, after the championships, Jonny O himself took the ice for the first time since his accident in a sled. Thanks to the St. Louis Blues Development team for their assist that day in creating the opportunity for Jonny and his teammates to get into sleds and for Jonny to hear the crack of the ice under his skates again.
Of course the weekend culminated in Jonny skating through the stick taps of the players in the Blues Alumni game to center ice where we had the honor of presenting him with a check representing all the hard work of so many, for $55,500. After this emotional presentation, Jonny dropped the puck between former Blues Reed Lowe and Jim Campbell to kick off a fun filled Alumni Game with players from all the teams.
Just when the magical weekend seemed to be winding down, we had the privilege of accompanying Jonny to pay for his new adaptive truck that will get him behind the wheel again and let him have the freedom of getting himself around. Jonny said his first road trip is likely Colorado and the DAWG Bowl.
Jon has played hockey all of his life up through the competitive high school level. Since graduating, he has stayed a member of the hockey community in various recreation leagues. In addition he was coached by his father, Al, who is also a very long-term member of the hockey community and still skating today in the St. Louis area.
The injuries Jon sustained at work have left him paralyzed from the mid-chest down so his personal and financial challenges going forward for the rest of his life will be quite significant. Jon Orelt was nominated not just because he was such a long standing member of the hockey community, the severity of his injuries and their permanence. His strength and character as a person are also strong reasons for his nomination. Jon is already an incredible young man who at the very early age of 25 had already established himself in life and was working hard towards a great future. We want to ensure that he is able to stay that course despite this setback.
December was the season of Giving Back! December 7th was another special day as we surprised a very deserving Jon Orelt with a check for $13,450. In September, this young man’s life changed forever when he was electrocuted and suffered broken neck in a freak accident in St. Louis. Spending the last three months at the world renowned Craig Hospital, Jon has an incredible attitude and is already making great strides.
We witnessed a few tears, but mostly smiles, as Cody “Beeks” Beekman joined us in helping this terrific 25 year old with an infectious smile! The Orelt’s are now DAWGs for life and we can’t wait to see Jon back on the ice as strives to take on his next challenge as stud sled hockey player!!
We will leave the donation link open for those still looking to make a donation.
Or mail check to:DAWG Nation Hockey Foundation