What they’re doing right …
Not long after it became clear that traveling for hockey tournaments this season was going to be unlikely, a Westfield Youth Hockey team – rather than opt out of fundraising altogether – chose to raise funds for a different cause.
Westfield’s Pee Wee/12U White head coach Chuck Granger set out to contribute to the Rock 102 Mayflower Marathon, a 52-hour radiothon, which benefits the Open Pantry of Springfield, Mass., and the group managed to raise more than $700 in time for Thanksgiving.
“We knew we weren’t going to take that chance to travel, but our coach wanted to do something more service-oriented,” says team manager Colleen Cekovsky, whose son plays for the team.
Cekovsky also sent out a press release with a number of quotes from the team’s players that could not have been more fitting to kick off the holiday season:
According to the press release, Granger told his team, “Be proud of yourselves. You have done something that is much more important than any win you will ever earn. You helped other people.”
The best thing about this program …
“I think the kids learn lessons on and off the ice,” Cekovsky says. “And they develop friendships that last through adulthood.”
In all, the rock102.com website reported more than $72,000 raised for the good cause.
“I believe youth sports is more than teaching kids how to play a game,” Granger said in the release. “It’s more about teaching them the lessons that will make them better people, not just good athletes. … I want to give the kids a sense of helping to feed people who may not know where their next meal may come from.”
The last word …
“Coach Granger said it perfectly, that they’re learning more than just hockey skills, they’re learning lessons on and off the ice,” says Cekovsky. “They’re learning to help people, and that’s better than any trophy or tournament you can win.”