Foundation makes children's skating scholarships available

Aug. 28—The Dave "Opey" Thomas Memorial Double Sock Ice Skating Scholarship program now is accepting applications for children for the 2023-24 skating season.

The newly formed Double Sock Foundation provides financial assistance through the scholarship program for boys and girls age 10 and under who want to participate in Learn to Skate, Little Penguins or Crawford County Youth Hockey Association (CCYHA) skating programs.

Scholarship applications are being accepted now for each program. Children do not have to reside in Crawford County to apply.

Learn to Skate is a six-week program tentatively scheduled to begin Saturday. There will be five Learn to Skate sessions during the 2023-24 season.

Little Penguins is a 10-week program sponsored by the Pittsburgh Penguins and star player Sidney Crosby with a tentative start date of Oct. 7. It provides equipment, skates, sticks and a Little Pens jersey to each participating child.

Once a child completes the Little Penguins program, the child is eligible to join the CCYHA's Under 8 program for the second half of its season.

The scholarships are named for the late Dave "Opey" Thomas, a life-long member of the Meadville community. Thomas was CCYHA coach and board member, a Meadville Area Recreation Authority board member, and a board member for Meadville Bulldog Hockey. His son, Rick, was a CCYHA and Meadville Bulldog Hockey team member; and his daughter, Sarah, was a figure skater at the Meadville Area Recreation Complex (MARC).

The Double Sock scholarship name is derived from Thomas wearing two pairs of socks to every Bulldog Hockey game as a sign of good luck for the team.

—To apply for any of the scholarships: Visit; contact Aaron Rekich, executive director of the MARC, at (814) 724-6066; or go to the MARC, 800 Thurston Road, Meadville.