Hat Trick for Heroes planned to assist disabled vets

Three-day event features comedian Jay Leno, classic cars, hockey with Red Wings Alumni

By: Brian Louwers | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 9, 2016

 GroupeSTAHL Executive Chairman of the Board Ted Stahl addresses veterans, their family members and supporters during the event.

GroupeSTAHL Executive Chairman of the Board Ted Stahl addresses veterans, their family members and supporters during the event.

File photo by Brian Louwers

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STERLING HEIGHTS — The goal of the inaugural Hat Trick for Heroes to raise money for Michigan’s disabled vets.

Held in honor of Veterans Day, it’s also a win-win for those who also love standup comedy, classic cars and nostalgic hockey. 

 The three-day event, hosted by the Michigan-based GroupeSTAHL, headquartered in Sterling Heights, features a lineup that includes the Heritage Gala with comedian Jay Leno Nov. 10; a  Veterans Day open house at the Stahls Automotive Museum in Chesterfield Nov. 11; and a charity hockey game featuring the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Team at the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena Nov. 12. 

Proceeds from the events will benefit MI DAV, Michigan’s Disabled American Veterans.

“In January of last year, our Stahls’ hockey team played the Red Wings Alumni for charity at Clark Park in Detroit,” said Carleen Gray, Stahls’ vice president and chief marketing officer. “Mr. (Ted) Stahl sort of challenged me. He said, ‘You’ll never top this!’”

Gray said that what emerged was a plan to combine several charitable events the company had supported in the past and to expand them over a three-day celebration honoring those who served.

“We had been talking quite a bit about inviting Jay Leno to the museum,” Gray said. “We wanted to see if he could perform at the fundraiser on Thursday and get some more publicity, get more people to come in on Veterans Day, and then round it out with the fundraiser hockey game on Saturday.”

Leno, a comedian also famous as a car enthusiast who hosts his own show, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” will perform at the Stahls Automotive Museum at 7:15 p.m. Nov. 10 for the event’s Heritage Gala kickoff. The performance will be bookended by a strolling dinner and cocktails served among one of the world’s finest privately held collections of vintage automobiles, music machines and 20th century memorabilia. 

On Nov. 11, the Stahls Automotive Foundation will continue its tradition of hosting veterans free of charge at the third annual Veterans Day Open House 10 a.m.-6 p.m. All veterans are invited to tour the museum and to take part in various programs, including a remembrance ceremony at 11:11 a.m. and a veterans table, where patrons will have an opportunity to greet veterans who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and modern conflicts. The event will feature vehicles and artifacts from the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum.

On Nov. 12, Team STAHLS will take on the Detroit Red Wings Alumni during a charity hockey game beginning at noon at the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena. Mark Wells, who won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic Hockey “Miracle on Ice” team in 1980, will once again coach Team STAHLS.

“It is an honor to expand our Veterans Day efforts this year. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to honor the men and women that have given so much for our country,” said GroupeSTAHL Executive Chairman of the Board Ted Stahl.

He said many of his family members are veterans, including his brother and his father.

“Our way of life would not be possible without them, and I am proud to show our support,” Stahl said. 

The Stahl family has agreed to match all proceeds from the three-day event to benefit the state’s disabled vets. 

John Lind, director of the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum, said his organization has been proud to support STAHLS and the Stahls Automotive Foundation as they’ve paid tribute to veterans over the last three years.

“They don’t have to do this. They do it because they’re showing gratitude,” Lind said. “Veterans Day is a way of paying tribute to the veterans. Around the world, it’s known as Remembrance Day.”

Lind, a veteran who served in the U.S. Marines, Navy and Air Force, will also play for Team STAHLS during the charity hockey game.

He said about 1,500 veterans attended the Veterans Day open house in Chesterfield last year.

“We’re going to provide vehicles. We’re going to provide artifacts and a uniform display inside of the museum,” Lind said. “We’re going to have a veterans table where people can meet and greet different veterans, beginning with WWII through Vietnam.”


Inaugural events
• Nov. 10: Stahls Automotive Museum, 56516 N. Bay Drive in Chesterfield, will host the Heritage Gala, featuring comedian Jay Leno, beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and a strolling dinner. Leno is scheduled to perform at 7:15 p.m. Dinner will continue after the performance, with dessert and coffee to follow at 9 p.m. Cocktail attire is requested. Tickets are limited and cost $265 per person. They are available at stahlsautogala.eventbrite.com.

• Nov. 11: Stahls Automotive Museum will host the third annual Veterans Day Open House 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Veterans are invited to tour the museum free of charge. There will also be a remembrance program at 11:11 a.m. and a veterans table offering an opportunity to interact with local veterans. Donations will be accepted, and all proceeds will benefit MI DAV, Michigan’s Disabled American Veterans. The event will feature military vehicles and displays provided by the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum.

• Nov. 12: Team STAHLS will face the Detroit Red Wings Alumni for a charity hockey game at the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena, 20000 Stephens in St. Clair Shores, beginning at noon. Team STAHLS will again be coached by gold medalist Mark Wells, of the 1980 U.S. Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team. The game is open to the public for $10, with all proceeds benefiting disabled veterans in Michigan.

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