miracles-on-ice-2One of the most unique opportunities to make a difference at the Ritchie Center is through the S.A.V.E. program.  The S.A.V.E. (Sports, Arts, Volunteerism and Education) scholarship program provides sports opportunities to under-privileged and at-risk youth of Denver while placing an emphasis on the importance of education and community service. The goal of S.A.V.E. is to introduce disadvantaged youth to activities that would otherwise not be available to them or their families.

The S.A.V.E. program has been fortunate enough to sponsor the annual Miracles on Ice program, taking place in Magness Arena each June for the last ten years. The Miracles on Ice Hockey Camp is a one week summer camp for 9-11 year-old inner city boys and girls aimed at teaching basic hockey skills while providing classroom sessions in Math and Reading. The children are supplied with equipment, transportation, and meals for the duration of camp through the Gary and Leslie Howard Family Foundation. The S.A.V.E. program then allows the camp access to Ritchie Center ice, gymnasiums and meeting space throughout the week at no cost to the foundation. Programs like Miracles on Ice provide an opportunity for community collaboration that helps fulfill the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness’ mission to serve as a positive presence in the community through providing powerful and meaningful experiences. Continued contributions to the S.A.V.E. program make Miracles on Ice a reality and dreams come true! Find out more online about ways to get involved with the Miracles on Ice Hockey Camp.

More About the S.A.V.E. Program

In 1996,  the University of Denver’s Department of Recreation, the McCormack Foundation, Founders Assets Management, Inc., and the Colorado Avalanche teamed up to create the S.A.V.E. program. The fund was set up so that for each save made by an Avalanche goalie, $1 was donated to the S.A.V.E. program. The McCormack Foundation matched every dollar donated by the Avalanche, which resulted in approximately $20,000 in scholarship funds.

Ice hockey and roller hockey were the first two sports to be introduced into the S.A.V.E. program. In 1998 figure skating and gymnastics were added, followed by the addition of swimming, tennis and martial arts in 1999.

Today, S.A.V.E. scholarship funds are available for all DU recreation youth programs, both competitive and recreational.

S.A.V.E. program goals

  • receive donations from individuals and companies to ensure no child is ever denied the opportunity to participate in youth sports because of financial constraints
  • enhance the physical and mental development of each participant through participation in youth sports
  • actively coach and teach kids to participate in youth sports at a level where they feel comfortable
  • foster a fun and energetic atmosphere to further enhance a participant’s overall experience

S.A.V.E. scholarship requirements

If awarded a S.A.V.E. scholarship, a participant must meet the following requirements per six month award period:

  1. Maintain a C+ average in school. Mid-term report cards and a final report card must be submitted to the appropriate program manger within one week of issuance. Any grade below a C- will suspend the scholarship award until the grade improves. If an unsatisfactory grade is received, the child, parent and program manager will meet to discuss a timeline for when the grade must improve. If the grade does not improve by the agreed upon date, the scholarship will be revoked.
  2. Regular school attendance.  Any unexcused absence may result in a scholarship probationary period.
  3. Volunteer as an aid to the program for which a scholarship is provided for a minimum of twenty (20) hours. Hours should be scheduled with the program manager.
  4. Attend one cultural event.
  5. Portray good sportsmanlike behavior at all times while representing the University of Denver. Failure to use good sportsmanship may result in the loss of a S.A.V.E. scholarship.

How can I donate to S.A.V.E.?

Monetary donations to the S.A.V.E. program can be made online through DU’s online giving site.

If you would prefer to mail a donation, please send a completed donor form (pdf) and payment to the following address:

S.A.V.E. Scholarship Program

Attn: Alie Koch

2201 E. Asbury Ave.

Denver, CO 80208


All donations are tax deductible and fully support the S.A.V.E. scholarship program.  If you would like to discuss other gift options, please Alie Koch at 303-871-3165.