Walking in with a pair of wins already in their pocket, the 2019-20 Tucson Roadrunners officially met some of the lovely faces from their community Wednesday inside the Tucson Convention Center at the team’s third annual Face-off Luncheon.
After starting the season with games in Cedar Park and San Antonio, Texas, then most recently in Ontario, California, the club’s 23-man roster, along with Head Coach Jay Varady, ate, conversed, interacted with many fans that will fill the seats of Tucson Arena at the team’s home opener, which currently sits less than 48 hours away. News 4 Tucson Sports Director Paul Cicala hosted the event.
“It’s great to see the players, especially our new guys get acclimated to our fan base and then seeing our fans give hugs to their returning guys, they’re a part of the family here,” said Roadrunners President Bob Hoffman. “It’s a great bond that exists between our fan base and our players, and I’m so excited to see them welcomed back.”
The luncheon, which serves as Roadrunners Give Back’s biggest event of the year, also served as an opportunity for the organization to speak on some of their contributions to Southern Arizona, along with their plans for future years.
“The event is one of our primary fundraisers of the year and it allows us to continue working toward issuing grants in the future,” Hoffman continued. “Roadrunners Give Back allows us to get out into the community and grow the sport of hockey along with the Raise The Pack program initiative, that is statewide and in partnership with the Coyotes. Raise the Pack has now allowed us as an organization to reach from Flagstaff down to Nogales as we donate sets of hockey equipment and provide opportunities for many that have never had the opportunity to play the game before.”
While the aforementioned parties all come together to assist in the growth of the sport within all of Arizona’s borders, Wednesday’s event was a nice reminder that as the club enters the fourth season of play, a lot of momentum has already been garnered through three short years.
“This particular luncheon was certainly special for us because we have several years of a track record now and fans have come to expect events like this,” Hoffman concluded with. “It’s great for us to continue to grow and to see the evolution of the foundation, as well as our place within our community.”
Friday, ovations will be of plenty, introductions will be on a grand scale and goals will matter. Today, greetings were personal, laughter was shared and the Tucson community was victorious.