Monday, April 11, 2016

The Legacy of Ed Snider

If you can ever measure the worth of a man, I think it is to be found in his contribution to his community. If that is how you can measure the life of a man, Ed Snider has secured a legacy for the ages.

For those people who knew him, the legacy of Ed Snider was decades in the making, and it won't end here on the day of his passing simply because he is no longer physically still with us. In his 83 years, Mr. Snider did more in his lifetime to connect community, and empower people than one could possibly comprehend.

I first reached out to Mr. Snider last summer. After hearing about his Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, I wanted to know more about the man behind the foundation name. I felt that any person dedicated to the empowerment of underprivileged people in the community deserves the acknowledgement for impacting, and shifting young lives.

In Philadelphia, Mr. Snider was royalty. I can't imagine any person having more of an impact in Philly than Ed Snider. But I live in Toronto. Certainly people know of Ed Snider in Canada, but I felt he deserved much more acknowledgement for how he has successfully crafted an empire than any NHL team would model.

So I reached out to Mr. Snider. I was invited to The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation at Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey, just across the river from Philadelphia. I journeyed over night to arrive at the golf event in the early morning hours. I was welcomed by Scott Tharp, President of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, Jim Britt, Executive VP of Snider Hockey, Zack Hill, Director of Public Relations for The Philadelphia Flyers, and Ike Richman, V.P. of Public Relations for Comcast-Spectacor.

While we were waiting for Mr. Snider to arrive, I was in the back room with 2 young Snider Youth Hockey players who were speaking at the event. One of them was understandably nervous, and working on his speech, so I asked if I could listen and help him. His story was likely similar to the other kids in South Philly. He came from a single parent household, with few choices in life. When he started with the ESYHF he was 14 years old, and after 4 years in the program, his life was exponentially different. He has the choice of going to college, of learning life skills that he learned in Mr. Snider's Foundation which taught him team work, dedication, hope, faith and community service. All of which lead to a living a more fulfilled life.

When Mr. Snider arrived, I became increasingly nervous. I got the chance to interview him about his legacy and his foundation for almost 4 minutes, which you can listen to here:

When the 2 Snider Youth Hockey athletes finally got the chance to speak in front of Mr. Snider, The Flyers and all the guests, what they said moved Mr. Snider to tears. Of over 3,000 kids that the foundation helps support in the community, these 18 young men's lives were shifted from a life in gangs or in prison, to a life of contribution. They owe that all to the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation uses hockey as the hook to teach young kids the tools in life to be successful and fulfilled. In his 83 years of accomplishment, billionaire Ed Snider only gave his name and his legacy to one thing, and this is what he felt most passionate about.

Certainly, nobody can quantify the intangibles this foundation will bring. Mr. Snider will never be able to comprehend the difference this will make in the lives of the community he created, nor the impact it will have on the future generations of young people they impact moving forward. But he knew the difference it would create in the community he Loved, which is why he created it.

The world is a little worse today with the passing of Ed Snider, yet it's in a much better set of hands because of the work that Mr. Snider created securing his legacy as a man who cared deeply about contribution and service. Please check out The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation website:

Thank you Ed Snider for your contribution. You will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. Your vision and kindnesses have changed the lives of millions of people in a way you will never know.

God speed, to where you are, Ed Snider.

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