View From the Booth

Hello again Monsters fans and welcome to another edition of "View From the Booth". I hope you are having a great summer and enjoying the great weather and warmth wherever you call you home. It's been a really nice summer here in Cleveland, and it won't be long before we are once again heading to The Q for season number five of Monsters hockey. In fact, our season and home opener will be on Friday, October 7th, against a to-be-determined opponent. Our full schedule for the 2011-12 season will be coming soon, so keep checking in right here on the website for the latest and greatest news on our team.

October 7th will without question be a special night at The Q for our organization, and we really hope you can share it with us in person for our great in-arena show. In fact, our team was recently honored by the AHL as the top team in the Western Conference for fan experience. That is a great, great honor for all the great people who are involved in the in-arena presentation and experience for our fans at The Q. I speak from experience on this topic, and let me tell you, there is no one better in the AHL at entertaining and presenting the game to their fans than our staff! I have had numerous of my fellow AHL broadcasters comment to me on how exciting our in-arena show and presentation is. That is something all of us involved in are very proud of. A big thumbs up to all of those people who make it happen every single game night and game day. Way to go guys!

We are three weeks away from our Monsters hockey clinic out at Hoover Arena in Strongsville. If you have kids, I highly recommend you try and get your boy or girl registered for the camp, because it's a great experience for the young and aspiring hockey player. If you need more info you can reach out to Ben Shank, our Youth Hockey Specialist, at 216-420-0000 and he will get you all set for the clinic. It will last two days this summer, August 8th and 9th, and I will be on hand along with our teaching and training staff, so I hope to see you out there!

Last week, I had the opportunity and was honored to take part in a great event right here in Cleveland, the place I have loved calling home for the last two years. The event was held at Progressive Field and was called "Kick-It", a kickball tournament to help raise money for children's cancer research here in the Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio region. It was a great experience that I shared with my 10-year-old son and several members from the Cavaliers staff. Yes, I said kickball, the great old game most of us more than likely played on the playground when we were kids. It was great time for all of us who represented the Cavs and Monsters.

Here's the story of this event. It was the dream of a young boy named Quinn Clarke who has been twice diagnosed with cancer. He beat it with one year of chemotherapy and radiation, and then at nine years old, cancer came back in an even more aggressive fashion than the first time. I am happy to say Quinn is beating his second round of cancer. I would love to meet him one day and shake his hand for all he's going through and has gone through.

I did meet his mom Allison Clarke at the event on July 15th and talked with her about the event and what it means to her son and their family. The event and the idea of playing kickball was Quinn's, the game he loves so much. What a great idea from such a courageous young man, a young man with big dreams that have come through with the kickball event and fundraiser to help research and beat cancer. Way to go Quinn!

Below there are two videos from the event, one with Allison Clarke and the other was some game action I shot between games. I hope you can take a look and learn more about this great event and the "Kick-It" foundation. If you would like more info, or even to donate or start up a kickball event, you can simply go to or call 440-461-KICK (5425) and they will be happy to help you with more info.

And I must mention, $100,000 was raised from 40 schools playing in the event on July 15th, and through the help of the corporate teams playing later that day, $26,000 was raised to help benefit the "Kick-It" foundation. Way to go Quinn Clarke for seeing his dream through, and thanks to all of those who took part in the event, it was a job well done by everyone.

Until next week and the latest edition of "View From the Booth", enjoy the summer weather and make sure you mark your calendars for the 2011 Monsters season opener on October 7th at The Q!


Ben Holden




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