Interview with a Hockey Captain: Alice Tang

Alice Tang embodies the spirit of competition. She loves the challenge of hockey, comparing it to playing football or soccer on ice. “It’s this game that’s incredibly fast, really physical with sometimes bashing into people, though you try not to, and then of course, you realize that you have to do all this while balancing on teeny tiny bits of metal!” she notes. She plays in both the Greater Seattle Hockey League and the Seattle Women’s Hockey Club, and leads two teams in the RMHC Hockey Challenge: Manny’s Mayhem, a women’s team, and the Microsoft Windows team, which is co-ed. As the captain of the Windows team, she has proudly led them to fundraising victory over the rival team Exchange repeatedly in the past few years. “It’s a point of personal pride,” she admits.

Alice1She first discovered the Hockey Challenge via a poster – a huge cartoon of technology legend and Microsoft veteran Brian Valentine was tacked up on the wall near her office and drew her in. “Once I found out what the event was, I knew I had to join,” she says. “But, I soon learned I’d be the only woman on the team. I’d only ever played co-ed hockey before that, so right then and there I decided, ‘You know what, let’s get some women to form a team and get involved.'” She had just one problem – how to fund this new women’s team? She knew Valentine was a huge supporter of the Challenge, so she hatched a plan to ask him for the money to fund a team after a covert meeting with his assistant. As the saying goes – you don’t get what you don’t ask for – and Brian agreed to fund the team.

But Alice isn’t involved solely for the love of hockey, the mission of RMHC hits home with her. As a child and for most of her life, her father had cancer and was often in and out of the doctor.  “To me, my dad was Superman. Most days, he was like any other dad, strong, present, there. He’d had cancer since I was very small, so I just thought it was normal for your dad to be too tired sometimes to hang out or that going to medical appointments all the time was normal,” she says. “As an adult, you realize that’s not most people’s everyday experience.  You don’t want a kid to have to go through the pain and everything that goes along with fighting such a terrible disease. For me to be able to do my part in giving a sense of normalcy to a child, really makes it worth it for me.”  The fact that the House provides a real home for families is also important to Alice. “My family was lucky we lived in an area where we could just take the subway to and from appointments. We got to stay together. I can’t imagine going through all that and not being able to just go home and be home.” GoalieAlice

This year, Alice has set a new goal for herself – learning how to be a goalie, for one night only. She’s hosting a puck shootout at Castle Ice on February 20th at 8:30pm. Anyone can purchase a set of 5 pucks and try to score on her. For every puck she doesn’t stop, Alice will personally donate $5 to RMHC. You’ll get a chance to double down and score on RJ, an experienced goalie who will also be donating for pucks he misses. All proceeds from the event go to the Ronald McDonald House and she’s lined up some great prizes to be won. She notes, “I have never played goalie in my life, I am incredibly short, and take up very little of the net. I’m also not the fastest skater around. And yet, I’m willing to bet I can stop at least a few of the shots!” All the details for the “Shoot Pucks for Charity” event are online here.

You can also support Alice’s Teams – Windows or Manny’s Mayhem – on the Hockey Challenge page. It just takes a donation of $30 to provide a night of stay to families who stay here.