Friday, December 21, 2012

Hockey Tributes to Sandy Hook

“I feel so sad, and I want to show how much I care.” The words of my eleven year old hockey player who wants to combine her love for hockey, with her desire to help honor 20 beautiful children and six remarkable adults, the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. There are some amazing examples for her to follow, starting with the Greenwich and Darien girls ice hockey teams. In a heartfelt tribute, the girls wrote “Newtown” on one side of their sticks and a victim’s name on the other side. They also played their hearts out in memory of the tiny victims.

Then there’s the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, a team that plays about 30 minutes from Newtown. Their hearts are heavy, and to show their compassion, commemorative patches and stickers will be part of the uniforms, to be worn for the rest of the season. And in an even more extraordinary gesture, for the next seven home games, players' names on the back of their black alternate jerseys will be replaced by names of  Sandy Hook Elementary students. The names of the six adult victims will be shown on the center ice scoreboard throughout the entire game.

I’ve always been touched by our local hockey community’s response to tragedies and outpouring of support when someone is hurting or in need. The Syracuse Blazers Squirt team is carrying on that long-standing tradition. The team is dedicating the next ten games between December 30 and February 2 to raise money for the Sandy Hook School support Fund, started by the United Way of Connecticut. They’re accepting pledges per goal and donations. Here are the details.

1) Pledge a donation per goal

Pledge any amount ($0.50, $20, etc) for each goal scored by the Syracuse Blazers Squirt team. We will post a running total of goals scored during the 10 game period on the Blazers Squirt team website ( On February 2nd, the total goals will be posted. Pledge payments will be due by February 9, 2013.

Example: If you pledge $1 and the team scores 10 goals between December 30, 2012 and February 2, 2013, you would owe $10.

2) Regular donation

If you do not want to pledge per goal, you can donate a set amount. No amount is too large or too small. Just see any parent, player, or coach from the Syracuse Blazers Squirt team. We will start collecting at our December 30th games. The last collection date for regular donations will be February 2, 2013. All players and parents of the Syracuse Blazers Squirt team will be given donation sheets. Therefore, any member of the team would be happy to assist you in your donation.
Showing compassion and support is a part of our hockey culture. It’s what we do.

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