On June 22, the Darien Winter Club faced off for the eighth annual `Charity Skate' ice hockey event to benefit Person-to-Person Emergency Assistance Program. The program is a core service of the agency that provides financial assistance to help individuals and families pay for rent, utility bills and related expenses.

The `Charity Skate' event is a Darien Winter Club (DWC) tradition which provides its members the chance to have a great time playing ice hockey while raising money for a worthy cause.

"Person-to-Person has been our designated charity since 2006," said John Shaker, organizer of DWC's 2013 Charity Skate for P2P. "The generosity of our members is outstanding. This year we raised just under $7,000, which brings the total to nearly $47,000 over the last eight years."

The `Charity Skate' concept was created by Tony Oja, a longtime DWC member. Oja organized the early events to help benefit the `Ice Hockey in Harlem' charity, which provided opportunities for disadvantaged inner-city kids to learn and play ice hockey.

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Over the years, other charities were selected by DWC members. Today's DWC Charity Skate events for P2P are held at Terry Conners Ice Rink in Stamford, which donates the ice time. In this way, donations from each of the players directly benefits Person-to-Person.

"More than 23,000 men, women and children were helped by Person-to-Person last year," said Ceci Maher, Executive Director of P2P. "There is still a great deal of need out there as demand for our services, and our service area has increased. But through the generosity of groups like the Darien Winter Club, we are able to continue to provide the needed support and to grow our services."

To make a donation to the Emergency Assistance Program, or for more information, visit the Person-to-Person website at www.p2pHelps.org or call (203) 655-0048.

About the Darien Winter Club

The Darien Winter Club is an ice hockey club for men ages 30 and older from towns that include Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport, Norwalk and Fairfield. It has been in existence since 1953 when two Fairfield County men, who happened to be sitting next to each other on a plane during a business trip, decided they loved the game enough to form a hockey club. For more information about the Darien Winter Club, visit www.darienwinterclub.org.

About Person-to-Person

For nearly 45 years, Person-to-Person has provided emergency assistance to low-income individuals and families residing in Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut. Having recently merged with Christian Community Action, the agency has facilities in Darien and Norwalk and serves residents living throughout Lower Fairfield County. In 2012, the two locations collectively provided 449,316 meals, served more than 23,000 people, provided emergency financial assistance to 1,241 families, collected and distributed more than 50,000 bags of free clothing, and provided 170 students with scholarships for college. Person-to-Person is a volunteer-driven, community-supported agency which, through a sharing of goods and talents, responds to individuals and families who lack basic necessities or resources to improve their lives. For more information, contact Person-to-Person at 203-655-0048 or 203-939-1650.