Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Attention New York State Hockey Coaches!

2009-10 Campaign to Support Our Troops & Their Families
Please take a moment to read our message below.
NYS Hockey Players Support Our Troops is our family sponsored charity that has been raising funds to benefit the families of and the memories of our NYS Military Service Members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq & Afghanistan. To date, 230 NYS Service Members have been killed in Iraq & Afghanistan. Through the generosity of the greater NYS hockey community & friends, we have been able to raise nearly $30,000!
We hope that you can join us this season in making a difference to some very special New York neighbors. All assistance is welcome. Participation is easy. We raise funds through the sale of our campaign patches. These patches look great on jersey's, jackets, and equipment bags and in many methods of display. We have also sent thousands of our patches to all branches of our Military Services both at home and in the war zones.
Our campaign has touched dozens and dozens of deserving families, wounded warriors, veterans and individual service members. It has enabled our hockey community to make a civic minded statement beyond our ranks and it has given our young people a simple and direct opportunity to support those people and their families who have suffered extraordinary sacrifice and loss.
Patches are only $5 each. simply email Charlie Gili at gili498@aol.com and ask for patches for your team. We have also sent 1000’s of our patches to soldiers who are currently deployed in the battle zones & to those who are recovering from injuries.
Please help us to continue our efforts this year as our service members continue to fulfill their missions.
Warmest Regards, Charlie Gili & Family--On Behalf of NYS Hockey Players Support Our Troops!
**Our charity is registered with the NYS Charities Bureau in the NYS Attorney General's Office**

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Used vs. New: Advice

These tough economic times has us all thinking about ways to save money and this season used equipment may be looking a lot more attractive. It can be a good option and you certainly can save some money with body guards and shin guards. Just be sure to check plastic shells thoroughly for any cracks. How about helmets? Be careful here. Remember, this is the core protection of the face and head of your child, so don't skimp. It may be best to buy new to make sure there are no hidden or hairline cracks in the helmet with an unknown history. Same with elbow pads, especially for the beginner to protect against those falls that happen every which way. Look for hockey pants that offer good hip, thigh and tailbone protection. Gloves should allow your kids to have a nice stable grip and should be long enough to meet with elbow pads. Always have your kids do the "stick test" whenever you buy gloves, new or used. Kids should be able to get a good grip on their stick when they've got those gloves on. Make sure the shoulder pads aren't too bulky and defensemen should get full frontal protection.

Need some in-person expert advice? Our hockey community is fortunate to have a store that specializes in hockey gear, local hockey shop McKie Sports. I've found the folks at the store to be very reliable and honest when it comes to proper fit and needs. Plus, if you bought skates/pads there, they'll allow you to trade them in toward the purchase of new equipment. Every little bit helps in the costly world of youth hockey.

Got Gear? Sell it Here!

What do you mean your new Vapor XXII skates we just bought at the end of the season are too tight? Oh, come on now, you can get by for a few more games. Your feet are blue? Really? Ah yes, the great quandary for the hockey parent forced to face the fact of frequent growth spurts vs. dwindling dollars. Tell me about it. This is far from a cheap sport and how quickly the costs add up once we've suited them up in their skates, elbow pads, helmets, gloves and sticks. Cha ching! We can't help but hope new purchases will at least take them through to the end of the season. But thanks to two local hockey parents, we now have a way of putting some of that hard earned cash back into our pockets and get a price break when it comes to padding up our kids.

Say hello to Open Net Pro Shop, where they "refit your equipment." This a new consignment shop and business venture for a pair of hockey parents. The shop is located inside the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena near the front entrance. How does it work? Hockey parents/coaches Jerry Vivlamore and Craig White will have you sign an agreement that lists your gear/prices and offer assistance if you need some help pricing the items. You get 80 percent of the proceeds and they keep 20. Equipment needs to be in good shape and deemed safe for use. They're also offering skate sharpening and new items like mouthguards. You may find the one stop shop for used hockey gear a lot easier than garage sale hopping during those precious jam-packed weekends.