By: Kristy Booher Angelo, Associate Athletic Director
For More Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gilmour Academy Athletic Department and Lancer hockey program are hosting the third annual Skate for a Solution game to raise money and awareness for autism. This year's game will take place on Saturday, November 16 at the Gilmour Academy Ice Arena as the Lancer boys prep hockey team hosts Culver Academy (Ind.) at 7 p.m. The Lancers are currently ranked 4th and Culver is ranked 6th in the independent prep school rankings by myhockeyrankings.com.
Admission to the event is donation-based, so all fans in attendance are encouraged to make a donation of their choosing to be given to the non-profit organization Autism Speaks to help fund research to find a cure for autism. There will also be a bake sale at the gate with 100 percent of the money collected going to Autism Speaks. An honorary puck drop will take place at the start of the game and will feature Joey Nook, son of former Lancer hockey assistant coach Joe Nook, and Michael Hansen, brother of Lancer golfer Mark Hansen '21.
The Skate for a Solution game is the third of its kind for hockey, however the Gilmour softball team has hosted nine Swing for a Solution events to raise money for Autism Speaks. The 10th installment of the Solution softball game is scheduled for May 7, 2020, when Gilmour hosts Lawrence School at 4:30 p.m.
This concept is the brainchild of Gilmour associate athletic director and assistant softball coach Kristy Booher Angelo, who saw an opportunity to show support for former Lancer assistant softball coach and friend Mandy Hansen and her autistic son.
"Mandy and I have been best friends since we were 7 years old. We actually met playing softball and continued playing together on the same team into our adult lives," said Angelo. "What better way to show my support of her and her son than through something we've shared together our entire lives."
As Angelo spread the word about the Swing for a Solution event, she and head boys prep hockey coach Mike Chiellino got to talking about taking the concept to the ice. Prior to Gilmour, Chiellino worked for the Tradewinds Education Center in Rome, NY, which was a school for autistic children and students with special needs.
"I had seen firsthand how underfunded the autism programs were while I was in New York," said Chiellino. "So I understand the importance of not only raising money, but also making others aware of this illness and all of the amazing kids who are working through this challenge."
Angelo and Chiellino both agree this is a great event for all involved.
"We're very blessed to have the opportunity to work and coach at a place where students, staff, faculty and administration are so supportive of this cause, which is near and dear to us," said Angelo. "Gilmour believes in serving others, and because of that, the community here has really embraced all of the events thus far. We're hoping this one will be just as successful as the other games we've held in past years."
"I'm excited for our players to get involved with a cause and to learn they have the ability to make a difference using their passion," said Chiellino.
For the game, the Lancers will be donning stick tape and socks with the traditional puzzle piece autism logo of the puzzle piece. Fans who previously purchased official Skate for a Solution apparel are encouraged to wear those items to the game along with puzzle piece clothing or the color blue, which is commonly associated with autism.
Fans unable to make the game, but wishing to make a tax-deductible donation in support of this event, can send a check made payable to Autism Speaks and mail to:
34001 Cedar Road
Gates Mills, OH 44040
c/o Kristy Booher Angelo, Athletic Department
To find out more about Autism Speaks, visit autismspeaks.org
To watch the game live online, go the boys prep hockey schedule for a video link to the November 16 Skate for a Solution Game.