The Lockport/Lemont Spartans high school hockey club will host a goodwill game against the Hornets Youth Sled Hockey team at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Darien Sportsplex at 451 Plainfield Road in Darien.
The Hornets Youth Sled Hockey Team was formed eight years ago by JJ O’Connor, a former hockey player who sustained a catastrophic injury during a game. The Hornets provide an opportunity to participate in the game of hockey, free of charge, to kids who have a physical disability.
“The Hornets Sled Hockey Team consists of a great group of kids ages 5 to 20 who have physical disabilities, yet are determined to play ice hockey,” said O’Connor, who now serves as general manager of the team. “As almost all children do, they want the opportunity to participate in sports, to feel the camaraderie of being part of a team. In some cases it’s not even to play hockey – for some, it is their only freedom outside a wheelchair of walker.”
The Hornets team is funded entirely through donations from groups such as Blackhawk Charities, St. Laurence High School Hockey Club and private individuals.
For more information or to donate, contact O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hornets Sled Hockey team is part of the Amateur Hockey Association Illinois Inc., a 501 C (3) not-for-profit organization, for which donations are tax deductible.
Story update March 7: The sled hockey game is open to the public and the minimum donation is $3 for adults and $1 for students. Proceeds will benefit both the Lockport/Lemont Spartans and Hornets Youth Sled Hockey teams.
The event will also feature a "chuck-a-duck" 50/50 split in which spectators can purchase numbered ducks and toss them on the ice during intermission. The closest to the center ice splits the winnings with the Hornets. Guests may also enter for a chance to play in the sled game during the third period.
Donations can also be made by writing a check to Spartans Hockey Club and indicating "sled hockey game" in the memo line - and mailing it to: Spartans Hockey Club, c/o Karen Dirst, 9035 Lancaster Ln., Woodridge, IL 60517.
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