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Mark DeMontis of Courage Canada in Raleigh for Courage Carolina during All Star Week

Sean Mitton, Canadian Expat Network

The Courage Carolina Project in action

With all eyes on the sport of ice hockey during the upcoming 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes, DeMontis will be in town raising funds and awareness for the Courage Carolina Project throughout the week. The funds generated during his visit will support the creation of prototypes that will be used to advance the quality of play and growth of the sport. His involvement in a variety of events early during NHL All-Star week will allow local fans and supporters to learn more about Blind Hockey and how it will develop in the United States, starting in Raleigh.

On Monday, DeMontis will meet with the Courage Carolina Project work teams at NC State University to be briefed on the Blind Hockey puck's development to date, and will later be the official 'siren sounder' at the Carolina Hurricanes game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the RBC Center. On Tuesday, he will lead a closed-skating session at the AT&T Winterfest Outdoor Rink with students from the Governor Morehead School for the Blind and later that night will be the featured guest at a social and fundraiser function at the Capital City Club. On Wednesday, DeMontis will speak at NC State University with the Courage Carolina Project team and be the special guest at a late-night open skating function with NC State University students in downtown Raleigh at the Winterfest Outdoor Rink.

The sport of  Blind Hockey and its future in the United States will have it roots in Raleigh and will create opportunities for more to play the game than had been previously realized - all thanks to DeMontis and his vision of "bringing the blind to the ice, one stride at a time."

Peter Koutrompris is a former Torontonian who writes for the Raleigh Sports Examiner and works for NC State Campus Recreation.

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