HOW IT ALL STARTED
When Candice Arnold, executive director of Hockey Fight MS found out she was diagnosed with MS, she decided to use her passion to build a tournament that would help thousands of others in her position.
The inspiration to form this organization came as a direct response to my own diagnosis. I experienced my first symptoms of MS in August 2005. After undergoing several diagnostic tests such as blood work, MRI’s and a spinal tap, my my neurologist confirmed I had multiple sclerosis. I was completely blindsided by this diagnosis. I didn’t know anything about multiple sclerosis so I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant at first, but it didn't sound good. I spent days worrying about what life would be like from that moment on. I was 25 years old and had my whole life ahead of me. Would I be able to continue playing sports and participate in the other activities I enjoyed?
Hockey has always been my passion. I first started playing when I was ten years old. I played for my high school boy’s team before moving on to play competitively on a girl’s travel team and in a local men’s league. By the time I had gone off to college, I was competing at the NCAA Division III level and loving every minute of it. Aside from playing, I was also a private skating instructor and coach.
While this diagnosis was a surprise, rather than accepting defeat, I started brainstorming ways to make the best of the situation. Like the saying goes, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” I decided the only thing I could do was raise awareness and help find a cure. So, within one week of being diagnosed, I started planning the first Hockey Fights MS tournament in Bethlehem, PA.
It is my personal mission to use the skills I have to help as many people as possible and in as many ways as possible, whether it be through research, rehabilitation, or simply raising awareness. Over the years, Hockey Fights MS has expanded into hosting 8 tournaments in 5 states throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. None of this would be possible if it weren't for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and volunteers. I am forever grateful for the support I have and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Candice Arnold is the Founder and Executive Director of Hockey Fights MS. In this role she oversees operations, staff, beneficiary relationships and business development. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2005, she took her love for ice hockey and has used it to raise awareness and help improve the lives of others living with MS. In 2022, Candice was awarded The Raker Memorial Award - Good Sheperd's highest honor - for the many years she has worked to raise money for their MS Wellness Program. Candice enjoys spending time with her family, playing hockey, snowshoeing, gardening, camping and enjoying the outdoors. Event weekends she splits time between the rinks ensuring everyone is having a great experience and keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes.
Travel Coordinator / Tournament Assistant
Ashley Lanning is the Travel Coordinator and one of our Tournament Assistant’s at Hockey Fights MS. Ashley has played in the Hockey Fights MS Tournaments since the inaugural year and is eager to help out wherever she can. When not on the ice, Ashley loves to spend time traveling with her family and is always up for a new adventure! At the tournaments, you can usually find Ashley behind the merchandise table. Ashley is always excited when given the opportunity to speak French with our Canadian friends! Nous vous invitons à venir nous aider à combattre MS un objectif à la fois!
Darryl Arnold is the Assistant Director for Hockey Fights MS. He is a liaison with our on-ice officials and assists with operations and overseeing staff onsite at tournaments. Darryl enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, and running. Event weekends he can be found at the rink as a resource for our participants.
Jesse Parker is the integration specialist at Hockey Fights MS, responsible for our website and internal tooling. In their spare time, they enjoy mountain-biking, hiking, and traveling in their van. You can sometimes find Jesse at our tournaments walking around with a laptop, updating the standings after each game and taking photos and video to put on social media. Come say hello!
Assistant Director of Operations
Tara Wright is our Assistant Director of Operations who helps keep things running smoothly behind the scenes and on site. She is instrumental in all aspects of event planning. Tara, her husband Shawn, and both of her children Kierra and Colton have been involved with HFMS for over 10 years. Tara is recently retired from the telecommunications industry after 30 years. In her spare time, she enjoys anything hockey, fishing/ boating, and of course spending precious time with her busy family. You can often find Tara behind the merchandise table, at registration, or scorekeeping. Please be sure to say hello.