WDC Leaders Attorney Spotlight: Henry P. Twomey

WDC Journal Edition: Summer 2020

Editor’s Note: To recognize the philanthropic efforts of our membership, this recurring feature of the Wisconsin Civil Trial Journal spotlights members who generously donate their personal time and/or resources to a civic or charitable organization on a community, national, or international level. To nominate a member, please contact the Journal Editor, Vincent J. Scipior, at vscipior@cnsbb.com.

______________________________________________________________________________

Henry P. Twomey is an associate at Kasdorf, Lewis & Swietlik, S.C. in Milwaukee. His practice focuses on all aspects of civil litigation, with an emphasis on insurance defense, municipal law, and construction law. In addition to the Wisconsin Defense Counsel, Henry is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Wisconsin. A native of Massachusetts, Henry currently resides in Milwaukee with his fiancé and their dog. He regularly serves as a guest speaker at Wauwatosa East High School, mentoring students with an early interest in the law.

In 2018, Henry began volunteering as a youth hockey coach with SHAW Pirates Special Hockey. The SHAW Pirates are supported by the Southeastern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (“SHAW”), the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association, and USA Special Needs Hockey. A new and growing program, its mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities through increasing their personal development and self-confidence both on and off the ice. The program provides its players with an opportunity to have fun, learn teamwork, gain friendships, and increase physical activity.

How did you get involved with SHAW Special Hockey?

I have been playing hockey all my life and try to stay involved with the game as much as possible. I heard about the program from another hockey player in the Milwaukee area and contacted the program’s directors, Juan Rios and Wade Van Westen, to express interest in getting involved. From there I began attending weekly practices and assisting with on-ice coaching duties.

How does the program work?

This is a new and growing program and we are so excited to spread the word and get more members involved. Practices are scheduled every Saturday morning from November to late March at Wilson Park Ice Rink, 4001 S. 20th Street, Milwaukee, WI. During practice, players have the opportunity to develop on-ice confidence through skating, shooting, puck handling drills, and learning general hockey knowledge. Players of all skill levels are always welcome. Our goal is to recruit players and grow the team so we can seek out games and tournaments in both the Wisconsin and Midwest regions.

What kinds of events are involved?

Outside of weekly practices, our players have had numerous opportunities to experience and watch the game of hockey at all levels. Last season our players were invited to attend a Milwaukee Admirals game and were given the opportunity to skate on the ice during an intermission. Our players were also recognized by the UW-Milwaukee Panthers hockey team and attended one of their games.

What has been the highlight of your experience?

During my first season with the program, there were several high school age players on the team. Program directors Juan Rios and Wade Van Westen worked with the SHAW high school program to fulfill the necessary requirements for each player to obtain high school letters in hockey. One day after practice, Juan and Wade surprised the players with an impromptu ceremony and awarded each player with their high school letter. The players were overjoyed when they realized that – like many of their high school peers – they were being recognized for their achievements as part of a hockey team. Seeing the excitement that the players displayed along with how proud their parents and family members were of their accomplishment is an experience that I will never forget.

How can other members get involved?

We are looking for any individual with special needs interested in giving hockey a try. All skill levels and experience welcome! We are also always looking for more on-ice volunteers, as well as equipment donations. For more information, please contact Juan Rios at swash.specialneedshockey@gmail.com.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?

I cannot stress enough that SHAW Pirates Special Hockey is for individuals of all hockey skill levels. Whether a beginner or an experienced skater, this program is a great way for athletes with special needs of all ages to keep physically active and have a lot of fun in the process. Even if you think that your player does not have the proper gear, we recently received an equipment donation from the American Special Hockey Association and will work to equip any athlete interested in hitting the ice!

To get more information about SHAW Pirates Special Hockey, visit www.shawhockey.org or email swash.specialneedshockey@gmail.com.