Last August was mine and my husband's first introduction to housing anything or anyone other than our child and our dogs. But our apprehension was quickly alleviated by the good nature and positive interactions we experienced with our first "billet child" Tyler. If last year is any indication how things will go this year and years to come we will easily become a long-time housing family for Ice Hawks players.
Tyler acted as a "big brother" to our son Mason - he was a positive influence and good role model for Mason to look up to. Tyler quickly and easily fit into our family routine as well as brought a new dynamic to our every day life. It afforded us the opportunity to go to games, meet new and interesting people and cheer for our player. It also benefitted us by laying some very important ground work for Mason's future. Mason participated, if only by listening, to discussions of education and career and the importance of these as adult in our world today.
We would strongly encourage others to embrace the opportunity to become a housing family for an Ice Hawks player. The benefits came back to us ten fold. These, not only included, the wonderful experience we gained from having Tyler with us but also the new found relationships we developed with Tyler's friends, girlfriend and family as well as the other housing families. Relationships I see lasting a life-time.
-Kim and Benji Henricks
Our son Korby Anderson lived with Tim & Lisa VonWald and their twin boys for 2 years while playing for the Ice Hawks. We had a wonderful experience. I didn’t know anyone could spoil my son worse than I ever did, but the VonWalds did. They took Korby in as their own, there was never an uncomfortable feeling between the two families, even the first meeting was perfect, and we knew they were the perfect match. They are family! There are no words that we could say to Tim, Lisa, Steve and Michael for taking in our son and making him feel at “home.” He matured so much, I couldn’t believe it when he came home after the first year, the 2nd year was amazing, and he would never had that if he would have stayed living at home or going off to college. We are housing a former Ice Hawk and we love it, I wish I lived in Rochester so we could house a hockey player!
-Sherry and Todd Anderson
We have followed the Ice Hawks for four years and housed for two years.
Our experience has been one of great relationship building. Not only with the player and his family but also with other housing families the Ice Hawks staff and fans. We faced our experience with apprehension initially as any family would bringing someone into their home, but
found that the athlete was quite well mannered, well adjusted and became a part of our family quickly. This is one aspect of the program that we find most rewarding in that you not only gain another member of your family, but the player's family also becomes a part of your family.
Going to the games is only a part of the commitment as you help to role model and foster young men into adults. It is a great way to be a part of a young man's dream helping him to move on to the next level of hockey play and making life long friendships.
-Tim and Lisa VonWald
As a first year housing family, there was some definite hesitation because of the time commitment…but without a doubt it became apparent that it was going to be very rewarding as well. The player that lived with us became a part of our family. We celebrated victories together as well as worked through any trials and tribulations together as a family unit. A great experience and wonderful connections made with a solid support team in the front office of the Ice Hawks organization.
-Chris and Traci Prindle
The Rochester Ice Hawks organization has given my son the opportunity to continue his career as a college hockey player. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of participating in the Minnesota Junior Hockey League (MJHL). The competition was outstanding and the fan base was amazing. When you go to the ice arena and see almost 2000 fans cheering the players on, it is an experience that no hockey player or parent will ever forget. Winning the MJHL championship, going to nationals and seeing some of the best hockey players in the world compete against each other was the culmination of a tremendous season and opportunity that very few hockey players and parents will enjoy and cherish for the rest of their life. As a parent that lived a long distance away, we could not travel to see all the games live and watched most of the games on the Internet instead. It helped us stay in touch with the organization and see the games we could not make. The Rochester community and families that helped the young men grow as hockey players and as citizens will never be forgotten. We were always welcome and recognized when we were at the games. I can’t say enough about how well the organization is run and how professional the organization treated the players and parents. The organization expected the players to work hard, be a team player, and be an outstanding citizen to the community. The Rochester Ice Hawks far exceeded our expectations of a professional organization this past year in producing players with these outstanding traits and for that we are extremely grateful.
-Jim & Kellee Lezotte