NHL Players Association donates new equipment to KOHA
National Hockey League’s players recently gave a helping hand to a Michigan hockey association and its attempt to bring to the game to those less fortunate.
The NHL Players Association Goals & Dreams fund donated 25 brand new sets of hockey equipment to the Kalamazoo Optimists Hockey Association (KOHA).
This donation will help KOHA’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo to introduce the game of ice hockey to disadvantaged youth in Kalamazoo County.
“KOHA and the Kalamazoo hockey community is where my love for the game began,” said former NHL player Adam Hall, who grew up in Kalamazoo and played at Michigan State. “I was extremely fortunate to have hard work, opportunity, and talent combine to enable me to fulfill my dream of playing in the NHL.
“I know not every child has those opportunities, and I am thankful to be a part of KOHA’s program that introduces our great game to underprivileged kids with the help of the NHLPA’s Goals & Dreams equipment grant.”
Participants from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo are taking part in KOHA's Get Out And Learn (G.O.A.L.) Program, which began on Sept. 22, at no cost.
Participating in the program, along with KOHA, are the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League, the Western Michigan University Broncos (National Collegiate Hockey Conference), Kalamazoo Wings (East Coast Hockey League), and Wings West Ice Arena, where KOHA is based.
“To have their support as we launch a new partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo thanks to the NHLPA’s Goals & Dreams equipment grant, means the world to us and we couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities this will provide,” said Dianne Shaffer, president of KOHA’s Board of Directors in a statement.
Said Devin Smith, chairman of the Goals & Dreams fund:
“The biggest obstacle in participating in hockey is the cost of equipment. Our goal is to bridge that gap for less fortunate children.”