Women in Sports: Andrea Helfrich, Philadelphia Flyers Host
Andrea Helfrich always knew she wanted to be on camera. Her desire stems all the way back to when she was a little girl, pretending to be a host with her friend. A lifelong Philadelphia Flyers fan, watching hockey was a big part of life growing up. Her dreams of working as a reporter have now become a reality.
“I was 7 or 8, pretending to be a weather girl or news reporter where my friend and I would put up a map and refer to that. Or we’d use a coffee cup of milk or juice, or whatever we thought was adult-like. So it was always an aspiration.”
Her dreams followed her as she grew up, and grew more and more realistic as she got older. But tragically, at 16-years old, Andrea was hit by a drunk driver. Thankfully no serious harm was done to her, and the event actually inspired her.
As college approached, Andrea decided to enter her city’s branch of the Miss America Pageant. In 2012, she became the new Miss Philadelphia along with receiving a great college scholarship that helped her attend West Chester University. More importantly, Helfrich was able to use her platform as an advocate. She worked to raise both money and awareness in hopes of ending all drunk driving by sharing her story with thousands of children.
“I advocated for the fight against drunk driving and did a lot of ambassador work for mothers against it and organizations of the same affiliate. I wanted to give my message.”
Andrea decided to study Communications at college, and was fortunate enough to garner an internship at Fox 29 Philadelphia. Andrea was actually invited to join the new Miss Philadelphia on television (considering she had won the previous year), not knowing the surprise that would come the next day from it.
Helfrich feared the worst though, when a Fox 29 executive called her in randomly. It turned out that the channel wanted to create a new segment. The idea was a success, and Andrea’s dreams of becoming a television star were coming true.
“So as an intern, they said ‘go be on the show with her [Miss Philadelphia]’. After I did this, the news director called me into his office and I thought I was in serious trouble, I had never even spoken to him. But he pitched me a segment called ‘Andrea The Intern’ and it was where I did topical reporting around the city. That was my first taste of all of this.”
Following graduation and her departure from Fox 29, she ventured up to Binghamton, New York. Andrea was hired by WICZ Fox 40 as a reporter, working there for about a year.
“I reported as a one-man band, dayside reporter. It was hard though, one-man banding.”
After that, Andrea was offered an interview to work for the Philadelphia Flyers. This was a random but exciting opportunity for her, considering this was the team she grew up watching as a Pennsylvania native. She was able to snatch the job up, and is now the host for the team. This means doing work on-ice during games, interviewing players and creating content with them, and basically being the social media face of the organization. Andrea plans to stick with the team, but has very high aspirations for the future.
“Ten years from now, if I’m still hosting the Flyers, I want to be running a production team where we’re punting out a lot of content all the time.”
In the meantime, Andrea will continue her work in Philadelphia and also continue being a role model for thousands of young people. She is an inspiration for many, and a picturesque example of what hard work looks like. Helfrich seeks to help others and motivate them to chase their dreams. No matter wherever she ends up, it is certain that success will follow.
“I get a lot of messages about ‘how do you do what you do’, and the answer is just do it. Get an internship, or get a sports internship. It seems so simple, but you build your skill level and your network. That opens the doors to what you want to happen. I’ve always thought about what I want to happen. I’ve dreamt about it and put it on vision boards. Putting that persistence into physically getting out there will get you what you want.”