Hockey with a Heart


 Broad Channel pre-teen, Danny Kirk, used his love of ice hockey and his compassion to help out a neighbor in need. Upon hearing the news of the tragic fire that devastated the Santiago family’s home, Kirk felt inspired to help. (On February 11, the Santiago’s home, located at 627 West Road, was destroyed due to a defective boiler/chimney connection. The Santiago’s have been displaced since that date.) So, on Sunday, February 23, one of the only days this year that Kirk was not busy skating with his travel ice hockey team, Greater New York Stars, Kirk organized and hosted a 3x3 roller hockey tournament at the 17th Road Park in Broad Channel. Each participant paid an entry fee of $10, and that money was combined with snacks sales, to give to the Santiago’s.

The day’s events kicked off with the National Anthem at 12:30 p.m sharp. The tournament consisted of eight teams, with a total of 28 players. Kirk’s fellow teammates from their travel hockey team, as well as most of their families, all came out to support this good cause. Those that were unable to attend the tournament, still made donations. Kirk was very appreciative that so many of his teammates traveled to Broad Channel to support this fundraiser. Kirk’s mo­ther, Danielle, said, “It was so nice to see how they all supported their teammates, even on a day they finally had off from hockey. They have a strong bond.”

After about four hours of roller hockey competition, the “Beach Benders Team” took home the title. The three boys, Brayden Murphy, Vittorio Marino, and Joe Ramos, declined accepting the monetary prize, so that it could be included in the donation. “It’s for a friend in need, we will not take that money,” they said to their parents. The event was also successful in attracting many Broad Channel residents who made contributions as they passed by the park.

The boys were accepting donations for three days in total. They collected almost $1,100. This money will be used to help the Santiago’s return to their Broad Channel home. Kirk was able to run this successful event with the help of fellow Broad Channel resident and hockey teammate, Casey Allen, age 12. The boys promoted the event on social media, and created promotional flyers. Allen’s assistance, a generous community, and beautiful weather all contributed to the event’s success. Danielle Kirk expressed her pride in her son’s venture, not only because of its success, but because of the thought behind it and the initiative he took.

By Marina Cregan