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The Assist Foundation hosts 3rd annual fundraiser

blog by Kathryn Przybyla  • 

Lacing up a pair of skates and hitting the ice may be a weekly ritual for some kids, but for others it is a luxury.

Since you’re going out on Friday night anyway, you might as well spend it raising money for kids to play ice hockey in difficult financial situations. The Assist Foundation’s 3rd annual fundraiser will be taking place at 7 p.m. on September 21 at Gordon’s.

I spoke with president of the Assist Foundation, Joe Scarsella about how the organization got started.

I started the Assist Foundation three years ago. Formerly the director of the John F. Beecher Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo, I helped with the beginner hockey program. I noticed many kids loved the sport, but couldn’t play further because of costs. Many of the kids were from low-income families.

The mission of the Assist Foundation is clear: To provide youth the opportunity to participate in the sport of hockey who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance. Extending that to assist each youth with character and educational development.

So far, they have succeeded.

I have put a few kids into different local programs and was able to pay the team fees and purchase equipment for them. In some cases, we were even able to help with transporting them to and from practices or games. This was the first time they have been on ice hockey teams and they enjoy every minute of it.

Along with focusing on hockey, Scarsella tries to makes sure the kids are keeping good grades and staying out of trouble at school.

Assist Foundation
[Alex and Assist Foundation president, Joe Scarsella at Sabres Playoff game. The tickets were courtesy of the Pegula Family]

But while the organization has been able to provide brighter futures for a few children, they are always looking for assistance.

“I’m currently looking for help to get this off the ground to become a legitimate non-profit organization,” Scarsella said. “I have a ton of ideas on where we can take this for the community. Eventually I would like to start floor hockey leagues, run a character building program and a hockey camp for kids to improve their skills. The sky really is the limit.”

The Assist Foundation’s 3rd annual fundraiser will take place at 7 p.m. on September 21 at Gordon’s on Delaware Avenue. Tickets are $20 at the door and include drinks from 7 to 9:30 p.m. (Labatt Blue, Miller Lite, well drinks and wine), a prize raffle, 50/50 raffle and select apparel for sale.

Past prizes from this event include autographed sports memorabilia, wine baskets, Stevie Johnson watch set, jerseys, apparel and many other items.

For more information on the event, head over to the Assist Foundation’s Facebook page.

Assist Foundation

TAGGED: buffalo sabres, fundraiser, gordons, hockey, ice hockey, nhl, open bar, prizes, raffle, the assist foundation

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