Seven Lemont children will have new clothes and shoes this Christmas thanks to a generous donation from local high school hockey players.
The Trojan Hockey Club – which is made up of students from Lemont, Romeoville, Bolingbrook and Downers Grove North high schools – took over the Woodridge Kohl's on Thursday night to shop for families in need of extra help this holiday season. Items purchased included shoes, socks, pants, pajamas and T-shirts.
The shopping trip was organized by Lemont resident Debbie Zaremski, whose son Tyler plays for the Trojans. She and a group of friends adopt local families for Christmas every year, but this time wanted to get the boys involved.
"This has been going on for years and years where we adopt a few Lemont families and help them out during Christmas," she said. "This time around, it seemed like a good idea to have the boys help out as well."
Not only did the majority of the players volunteer to shop, but they also chipped in their own money, Zaremski said.
"We asked each of the boys to donate $10, but some of them even contributed more," she said. "After that, we set up this day to shop and I gave them each a list of specific things to look for."
The boys, with the help of some parent volunteers, picked out clothing and shoes for five boys and two girls. They donated about $270, but were able to get everything the needed for $250 (with Kohl's discounts).
"They did an awesome job, and we even have some extra money and Kohl's Cash to come back next week and get more stuff for the families," Zaremski said.
Team captain Maclane Nutting, a 17-year-old senior at Lemont High School, said he was proud of his teammates for donating their time and money to help families in need.
"It's a good group of guys and we all like getting together and hanging out, so this was a cool thing for us to do together," Nutting said.
The Trojan Hockey Club is made up of 22 players from Lemont, Romeoville, Bolingbrook and Downers Grove North high schools. The team plays in the Illinois Suburban Hockey League, and currently holds a record of 9-3-2. They practice twice a week at Downers Grove Ice Area and International Ice Arena in Romeoville, while home games are played at the Darien Sportsplex.
Trojans head coach Bill Broderick said he was proud of his team for donating their own money and taking the time to pick out clothes for the children.
"It makes you proud as a coach to see them do something productive and positive for their community," Broderick said. "They're good guys with big hearts."
The Trojans players are as follows:
Jason Florczyk, Dan Lebed, Alex Lurie, Byron Graf, Brian Botwinski, Mark Brayne, David Ulanski, Alex Keating, Joe Paloian, Sean Nemec, Mac Nutting, Bryan Dirst, TJ Laper, Zach Pressley, Dan Desmond, Mike Cronin, Andy Kurzka, Matt Kowalczyk, Tyler Zaremski, Kyle Millinowisch, Dom Congelose and Jake Smagacz.
Though the Trojans' fall/winter season is already underway, the club will be holding tryouts early next year for their spring league team.
For more information on the Trojan Hockey Club, visit their team website or contact team president JP Paloian at 630-243-0552.