Every year in March, most ice rinks and GM's are preparing to close their doors for a vast majority the summer. Most GM's are prepping for the summer by dotting I's and crossing T's for the summer events. You spend 8 months in the cold watching hockey, watching figure skating, cutting ice, prepping ice, managing open hockey, watching hockey parents go berzerk, sharpening skates, counting heads at open skate all for it to come to an end.
Most GM's would welcome the down time and would be excited for one last ice cut, but not at SUNY Broome Ice Center. Come March, the Staff at SUNY Broome are just getting started...they are preparing for the most important hockey game all season, Hockey 4 Hope.
Hockey 4 Hope, is a charity hockey game which raises money to fight and alleviate the financial burden associated with cancer.
The players who are skating in the game begin their journey the year before as registration for Hockey 4 Hope occurs in October. Participants receive an email and within minutes of registration going live, all 34 open spots are registered for. "Its an exciting time", states cancer survivor, Craig Bland. He says, "I've been skating since 2010...it's a special game and a special cause."
Skaters from all over the U.S. ranging in talent, arrive for opening night which is called Paint The Ice Night. For a $5 donation, family, friend and skaters can paint a message on the ice using different color paint. Messages of hope, love, courageousness, and remembrance completely full fresh clean ice!
The following night, skaters arrive at 5pm for registration and are greeted by the team equipment manager, who preps their gear in each locker room. Surrounded by autographed jerseys, raffle baskets and H4H paraphernalia, volunteers swoon around the rink preparing for roughly 1000 spectators!
Retired NHL'er, Chris Bala, will be skating in his 4th game, "I love skating in H4H...it's a great atmosphere and an emotional night".
Eric Kelly, retired Professional Hockey Player and native of Binghamton has been skating since 2010, " We have a great time out here...talent ranges from all over including college, junior and professional, but at the end of the day we are all here for the same goal".
And that goal is to raise as much money as possible on April 1st, 2017. Proceeds will be donated to The Geller Oncology Fund of Lourdes Hospital and The Constance Foundation. Paint The Ice Night is March 31st, 2017 between 5-9pm and Hockey 4 Hope is April 1st, 2017 at 7pm.
To learn more about Hockey 4 Hope and its initiative, please visit www.hockey4hope.com.
Laing Self Storage is a proud supporter of The Constance Foundation and Hockey 4 Hope.