2018 Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp: Fun for a Good Cause

 

Now in its fourth year, the annual Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp in Atlantic City, NJ, will take place on August 17-20, 2018. Sixty participants from all over North America and widely divergent levels of hockey skills and playing experience in their backgrounds – ranging from novice players to rec league weekend warriors and some attendees who’ve played extensively – will bond together on and off the ice while mingling with the Flyers Alumni camp instructors.

 

The attendees are divided into four teams of 15 players apiece. At the end of camp, the teams will compete in the annual Flyers Fantasy Camp Cup tournament, starting with round-robin games on Aug. 19 and the championship and consolation games on the final day. This year’s Flyers Alumni instructors/ coaches include Mark Howe, Bill Barber, Danny Briere, Keith Jones, Brad Marsh, Bob “the Hound” Kelly, Andre “Moose” Dupont, Joe Watson, and Ian Laperriere.

 

“It’s a great time, on the ice and especially off the ice,” said annual attendee and sponsor Steve “Cappy” Capoferri, the CEO of River Rock Academy.

 

“I’ve made lifelong friendships at Fantasy Camp; people I keep in touch with and look forward to seeing. Every year, I meet new friends.  I’ve also gotten to know a lot of the Flyers Alumni over the years. They are a tremendous group of guys that I’m proud to say have also become my friends.

 

“In terms of the hockey, I’m not a great player by any means. I only started playing ice hockey about five years before the first Flyers Alumni Camp, although I’ve been a diehard Flyers fan most of my life. Every camp, I learn new things. I’ve picked up little pointers from Mark Howe and Lappy – we’re talking about a Hockey Hall of Famer from the game’s most famous family and a guy who played over 1,000 games in the NHL and has gone on to be an NHL assistant coach – that I’ve put to use. I’ve said to friends of mine, ‘If I told you who taught me that, you wouldn’t believe me.’”

 

Presented by Toyota and CDW, the basic itinerary for the 2018 Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp is as follows:

 

  • Friday, Aug. 17:  Welcome reception at Top of the Trop.  Players first opportunity to meet their teammates and mingle with Flyers Alumni.
  • Saturday, Aug. 18: One practice and one game for each team at Flyers Skate Zone Atlantic City. The on-ice activity will be followed by an evening pig roast and live entertainment at the Ducktown Tavern.
  • Sunday, Aug. 19:  Two tournament games for each team, played in a three-period, 15-minute stop-clock format. Afterwards, there will be an evening farewell party at the Tropicana, featuring a surf-and-turf dinner, a comedy show with Big Daddy Graham, and a free-wheeling “hot stove” session with the Flyers Alumni.
  • Monday, Aug. 20: Consolation and Championship games. 

The Flyers Alumni Camp program is directed by Kelly, who serves as the organization’s Ambassador of Hockey, along with Rob Baer, the organization’s Youth and Amateur Hockey Manager.

 

“Our goal every year is to make each camp experience even better than the last one. We’ve gotten great feedback and suggestions from people who’ve attended. It’s been a success. Every Fantasy Camp we’ve done has sold out, and this year’s edition will also sell out well ahead of time. But we’re always working to make the camp the best possible event we can for everyone who comes. We cap off attendance at 60 people to make sure everyone gets individual attention,” Kelly said.

 

Currently, there are fewer than 10 available spots remaining for the 2018 Camp. One registration is reserved for the winner of the Labatt Blue sweepstakes for a free spot in camp (which otherwise costs $3,500 per player). To date, the list of registered attendees spans residents of 12 different U.S. states and five Canadian provinces.

 

“Not everyone who attends camp is a Flyers fan. Most are, though, and we all love hockey. There’s a lot of good-natured banter that goes on, and that’s all part of the fun. The Alumni guys know how to have a good time and it’s just an awesome atmosphere on and off the ice,” Capoferri said.

 

Additionally, the Flyers present one free spot annually to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Last year, with an assist from the United Service Organizations (USO), the Flyers surprised Feltonville native Ed Novoty, a member of the U.S. Army since 1985 and lifelong Flyers fan, with a spot at the 2017 camp. A similar presentation is planned this year as a thank you to our military. 

 

There is also a good cause underlying the attendees’ good time.

 

Proceeds from the Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp benefit the Flyers Alumni Association, with a primary focus on supporting the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation’s project to build a new rink in the Delaware Valley for use by the Snider Hockey kids. Back in 2016, the Flyers Alumni pledged a $2 million donation to Snider Hockey, toward which the major events on the Alumni calendar are a major fundraising source.

 

Capoferri, who serves on the Snider Hockey board of directors, said that the Flyers Alumni are tireless supporters of Snider Hockey as well to charitable, educational and community service initiatives throughout the Delaware Valley.

 

“It was a natural fit between Snider Hockey and the Alumni. To a man, the Flyers Alumni guys truly care about giving back to the community. Beyond the fundraising they do, the Alumni devote a lot of their energy and time into going out into the community, attending events and raising awareness throughout the year,” Capoferri said.

 

Over the years, the Flyers Alumni members have grown close not only with Capoferri but with many of the other attendees. Last year camp regular Lou Lumi lost a seven-year battle with cancer. Several Flyers Alumni attended his memorial. This year, Lou’s son will attend the camp; thereby, keeping a special tradition going.

 

“Lou was very special to all of us, a remarkable guy,” said Brad Marsh, the president of the Flyers Alumni Association.

 

During his lifetime, Mr. Lumi worked tireless to raise money for cancer research through his Stick Gloves Shirt charity foundation. He also attended Flyers Alumni Fantasy Camp annually. Hockey was a passion, a catharsis and even a therapy for Mr. Lumi. Every time he stepped on the ice himself and every time he watched the Flyers or the Flyers Alumni play one more game, it was a triumph.