Award highlights traits of hard work, high character, loyalty, honesty, humor and athletic achievement

Nominations are currently being accepted for the annual Patrick Schoonover Award to honor the Minnesota PeeWee or Bantam hockey player who best exemplifies Patrick’s ideals of hard work, high character, loyalty, honesty, humor and athletic achievement.

Patrick and his Eastview teammates were playing in the Blue Ox Hockey Bantam AA Tournament in Brainerd, MN. Patrick scored the game’s first goal and collapsed moments later on the ice. First responders were unable to revive him. It was later determined Patrick had numerous heart defects that caused his early death.

Patrick was a fun-loving teenager who is loved and respected by many. Patrick was a gentle giant. He was the “anti-bully” at school and stood up for those who could not. He made kids feel welcome with his smile and kindness. He was a great teammate and brought laughter and life to the locker room. He will forever be missed but never forgotten, and his legacy will live forever through the Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation and Play for Patrick Heart Screens.

To nominate a Peewee or Bantam player who exemplifies hard work, high character, loyalty, honesty, humor and athletic achievement please submit here: https://letsplayhockey.com/ninja-forms/9fu3r/

About the Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation

The Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation was created to honor and remember Patrick Schoonover who passed away at the age of 14, due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), caused by undetected heart defects. The goal of the foundation is to bring SCA awareness, education, prevention and eliminate SCA in kids.

SCA is the leading cause of death among student athletes. The Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation offers Free Heart screens for ALL kids 14-24 throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area regardless of race, gender, income, or demographics.

Play For Patrick Heart Screens include checking of; Height/Weight, Blood Pressure, EKG (electrical current of the heart), Echocardiogram (video of the structure of the heart), Physician consultation and hands only CPR & AED training.

The foundation relies on volunteers to help with each event. Up to 100 medical & non-medical volunteers are needed to make the screens happen.

The donations received will help the foundation pay for the medical & non-medical supplies and equipment, lunch, refreshments, t-shirts for volunteers, as well as AEDs that are given to the host high school or club. The foundation does not have paid staff, so all donations are used for screening young hearts.

For updated Screenings in your area: https://www.playforpatrick.org/screening-schedule

To donate to the Patrick Schoonover Foundation: https://www.playforpatrick.org/donate

2023 winner:

Heart to Heart

Austin Dwyer is the recipient of the 2023 Patrick Schoonover Award

Austin Dwyer was seven years old when Patrick Schoonover collapsed and died at age 14 on the ice during a bantam hockey game. Both were playing in the Eastview Hockey Association.

Aaron Dwyer, Austin’s dad, was on the Eastview Hockey Board with Mike Schoonover, Patrick’s father, when the incident happened.“We were new to Eastview’s Association and did not know the Schoonovers at the time,” said Niki Dwyer, Austin’s mom. “When the tragic event happened it was heartbreaking for our entire community.”

Prior to Austin’s next birthday, his parents had a heart-to-heart talk with him. They asked would he rather get birthday presents or do something else. Austin decided he wanted to raise money for the Patrick Schoonover Foundation.

Now, seven years and $37,000 later, Austin has helped touch the hearts of many others in more ways than one.

The Patrick Schoonover Award is awarded to the Minnesota PeeWee or Bantam hockey player who best exemplifies Patrick’s ideals of hard work, high character, loyalty, honesty, humor and athletic achievement. It is named in honor of Schoonover, who passed away on the ice during a game in 2014. Patrick and his Eastview teammates were playing in the Blue Ox Hockey Bantam AA Tournament in Brainerd, Minn. Patrick scored the game’s first goal and collapsed moments later on the ice. First responders were unable to revive him. It was later determined Patrick had numerous heart defects that caused his early death.

On the ice for his Eastview Bantam AA team, Patrick Schoonover was a leader, defender and excellent teammate. Off the ice, he was a leader, defender, excellent friend and classmate, loving brother and son. In recognition of the way he led his life, Let’s Play Hockey and the Minnesota Wild announced the Patrick Schoonover Award in 2015.

Dwyer is the 2023 recipient for showing similar qualities and helping make a difference in the life of thousands of others.

Since he first started his fundraising ventures, Austin has raised more than $37,000 for the foundation. From August 2015 to May 2023, The Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation has conducted 29 Play for Patrick youth heart screens, screened 5,030 kids, found 302 with elevated blood pressure, 292 with abnormal electrical or structural heart defects, taught 4,134 kids & adults CPR & AED awareness and donated 18 AEDs to area Schools.

“Austin is very deserving of Patrick’s award,” said the Schoonover Family. “His birthday fundraising efforts helped Patrick’s foundation buy the equipment needed to screen young hearts. We are so happy for Austin. He truly deserves the recognition for his selflessness and willingness to help others.”

Austin said he just wants to help people.

“Every time I raise money I know I can help people and get more people’s heart screened,” Austin said.  “Also they can buy more equipment so if it does happen to someone there is help for them.”

Austin is a second-year bantam playing on the A team. He has a deep passion for the sport of hockey.

“I just love everything about it,” he said. “I like how fast it is and with hockey I meet new friends and it’s just a fun sport to be around.”

Off the ice, he is just as passionate.

“When we see the good things that are being done by the foundation, Austin continues to want to do this to try to make even a small difference,” said Niki. “We are extremely proud of the person he is becoming and hope that these small efforts help and things like this continue to shape the person he becomes as an adult.”

Austin said he is proud to be the 2023 recipient of the award.

“It feels good to help people,” he said. “I have been fortunate so I am just trying to give back.”

From one heart to another, Austin and the Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation continue to save lives.