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AFTAC Hockey Team receives special Congressional recognition

Master Sgt. Michael Nolan, a member of the Athletes for Teamwork and Charity hockey team at Patrick AFB, Fla., takes a face-off against a player from Florida Institute of Technology during a charity game March 24, 2018 in Rockledge, Fla.  Nolan and his teammates were recognized by Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15) for outstanding contributions to the community.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Master Sgt. Michael Nolan, a member of the Athletes for Teamwork and Charity hockey team at Patrick AFB, Fla., takes a face-off against a player from Florida Institute of Technology during a charity game March 24, 2018 in Rockledge, Fla. Nolan and his teammates were recognized by Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15) for outstanding contributions to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Master Sgt. Rebecca Goodwin, a member of the Athletes for Teamwork and Charity hockey team at Patrick AFB, Fla., shakes the hand of Rob Medina, Director of Community Relations for Congressman Bill Posey (FL-15), where Media presented Certificates of Appreciation to the players for their fundraising efforts.  Also pictured are Tech. Sgt. Denton Kimber (second from left) and team captain Bill Hungate (right).  (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Master Sgt. Rebecca Goodwin, a member of the Athletes for Teamwork and Charity hockey team at Patrick AFB, Fla., shakes the hand of Rob Medina, Director of Community Relations for Congressman Bill Posey (FL-15), where Media presented Certificates of Appreciation to the players for their fundraising efforts. Also pictured are Tech. Sgt. Denton Kimber (second from left) and team captain Bill Hungate (right). (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Rob Medina, Director of Community Relations for Congressman Bill Posey (FL-15), poses with members of the Athletes for Teamwork and Charity hockey team March 24, 2018.  The team is comprised of members of the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick AFB, Fla.  Medina presented Certifications of Recognition to the Airmen on behalf of Posey to recognize their service and charitable efforts in the community.  The team faced off against players from Florida Tech at the Space Coast IcePlex in Rockledge, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

Rob Medina, Director of Community Relations for Congressman Bill Posey (FL-15), poses with members of the Athletes for Teamwork and Charity hockey team March 24, 2018. The team is comprised of members of the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick AFB, Fla. Medina presented Certifications of Recognition to the Airmen on behalf of Posey to recognize their service and charitable efforts in the community. The team faced off against players from Florida Tech at the Space Coast IcePlex in Rockledge, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

A photo of the certificate that was presented to members of the Air Force Technical Applications Center hockey team March 24, 2018 from Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15) for the team’s charitable contributions and outstanding support to the community.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

A photo of the certificate that was presented to members of the Air Force Technical Applications Center hockey team March 24, 2018 from Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15) for the team’s charitable contributions and outstanding support to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Before the anthem was sung and the puck dropped at center ice, Airmen from the Air Force Technical Applications Center hockey team were recognized by a member of Congress for their charitable fundraising efforts at a game versus Florida Institute of Technology March 24.

Rob Medina, Director of Community Relations for Rep. Bill Posey (FL-15), presented a Certificate of Special Recognition to team captain Bill Hungate before a charity game with FlT at the Space Coast IcePlex in Rockledge, Fla. Medina also presented a signed Letter of Commendation from Posey to each player thanking them for their service, devotion to duty, loyalty and outstanding achievements.

“”We’re here to honor these players and commend them for the money they’ve raised for some really great causes,” said Medina. “Here these folks put on a military uniform every day, are on call 24/7, deploy all over the world, yet they still find time to practice, play games and raise money for charities. And today I have the distinct honor to present these certificates and letters to them on behalf of Congressman Posey. I’m really proud of these dedicated athletes and Airmen—they truly walk the walk!”

Since the team formed in 2015, the players have raised more than $50,000 for various charities and causes in Central Florida. This match raised $1,500 for Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.

AFTAC leadership was in attendance for the game, and the center’s command chief expressed why events like this matter.

“This fundraiser gives us the opportunity to give back to the community and enjoy a great hockey game,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Joseph. “It fills me with a lot of pride when I see our Airmen out there giving it their all in the name of charity. It’s something we as a force do well – we care about those around us who may need assistance. It’s also a great morale-builder!”

While one might think the AFTAC logo on their jerseys represents the organization most of the players work for, it actually stands for “Athletes for Teamwork and Charity.” The team formed as an official non-profit enterprise in 2016 as a means to raise money for people and charities in need, while also having fun on the ice, networking with other teams in the region, and working up a good sweat.

“For me, it’s really all about camaraderie,” said Hungate. “The sense of pride I get when I see my co-workers and teammates come together to raise funds for others is indescribable. Hockey has always been a passion for me, and forming this team with my mate Aaron Trudel has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

For more information about AFTAC hockey including upcoming games, visit the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AFTAChockey/