In need of some ice hockey equipment? Friends of the Rink to the rescue
Sharon Valyear-Gray wanted to make one thing clear: if you're in need of hockey equipment, Friends of the Rink may be able to help.
The nonprofit has six containers and then some of used goods, from skates and helmets to shoulder pads.
What she also wants to make clear -- similar to the sheen on the ice rink at David M. McCarthy ice arena -- is that these goods are available to kids in need to help them enjoy the sport.
Friends of the Rink has brought back the used equipment and skate collection with the sole purpose to "help make the sport of hockey more accessible to local families," the group states.
After a free trial session, called Try Hockey For Free, Genesee Amateur Hockey Association introduces families to its beginner program of 15 sessions (from October to December) and again from January to March. This program is sponsored by Batavia's Tim Horton franchise. Thanks to access to free used equipment and skates, "we can help out the families from the initial purchase of hockey equipment and skates," Valyear-Gray said.
"There is always the anxiety of spending that money and then the youngster becomes disinterested," she said. "Now, once again, we have a collection of gently used equipment and skates totally free of charge to ease that financial burden."
GAHA families have generously been donating items after their own children grow out of the items, she said, which include hockey pants, shoulder and elbow pads, gloves and skates. Supplies of helmets are limited, as they are date-coded with a five-year lifespan. Items are stored in metal bins at the end of the bleachers in the arena.
To donate helmets with the code and date within five years old or less, or other clean ice hockey equipment, drop it off in a bin between the two entry doors. Donations are always welcome and needed as well, she said.
Top Photo: Sharon Valyear-Gray of Friends of the Rink shows the shelves of ice hockey items, above, available for free at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street, Batavia. Photos by Howard Owens.