The Sled Hockey Foundation (SHF) held a terrific Just Try It event with Stone’s Buddies and Women & Children’s Hospital on the evening of Thursday, September 21st at Northtown Center. The event was very well attended by over a dozen families with nearly 30 people taking to the ice to experience sled hockey for the first time.
The objective of the evening was to introduce sled hockey to the children and families who participate in the Stone’s Buddies program, led by Joanne Koessler-Lana, at Women & Children’s Hospital. The event raised awareness of sled hockey by inviting people to try the sport and learn its therapeutic benefits. Adam Page, a two-time U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist in sled hockey, and Lancaster native, was present to sign autographs and skate with participants.
This Just Try It event was extremely successful. Joanne did a remarkable job promoting the event with her Stone’s Buddies participants gaining a tremendously enthusiastic group of children and their families. There was a range of ages and illnesses represented in the participating children – all of whom got in a sled and participated, as did many siblings and adults.
Joanne said of the night, “It was wonderful to see the kids go from
excitement to fear – when they first got on the ice –
to the complete joy of accomplishment!”
Stone's Buddies is a program for chronically ill children at the Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. Created in memory of former patient Stone Filipovich, the mission of the Stone's Buddies program is to provide a network of resources, support, friendship and fun for the many "frequent flyers" that regularly use the institution. This program is for children with life-threatening illness, as well as the patients who struggle daily with special needs and feelings of isolation due to the nature of their chronic illness.
The SHF is proud to enjoy a growing association with Joanne and the Stone’s Buddies program so that participating children can have access to the great sport of sled hockey.