Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Konnecting Kids in Pelham

While I watched a great Pelham team play hockey on the weekend, I reflected not only about the kids that were playing, but about those that couldn’t afford to play.

You see, on Sunday afternoon my son and I cheered for the Pelham Panthers Bantam A/E Team in their second game for the Ontario Minor Hockey Association Finals. These talented and hardworking players have stickhandled their way through a succession of playoffs to advance to the Provincial Finals!

They won their Sunday game against the Elmvale Coyotes by three-to-two and currently lead the best three-of-five series by two games.

The game was fast and their play was tremendous. The Panthers showed exceptional skill. Clearly, not only have they worked very hard individually and as a team, but they also have received great coaching this year and in previous years. (Congratulations to the Bantam A/E coaching team: Coach Dino Germano, Trainer Bill Rizzo, Assistant Coach Jason Young, and Manager John Piccolo!)

You could see everyone playing to the best of their ability. The only things that mattered on the ice were their skills, their training, and their cunning. (And, I wish them all the best in their Friday game in Elmvale! Go Panthers Go!)

But, what if you had a similar talent and drive but your parents couldn’t afford for you to play hockey or soccer or the sport you really love? Or, what if you were skilled and passionate about playing piano or dancing and your mom just lost her job? What if your family couldn’t afford that art class that you are desperate to take?

Seeing Pelham’s Bantam Team play reminded me that it’s important to connect kids to the recreational, cultural, or artistic activity of which they dream. And, during these difficult economic times, it’s even more important to ensure that kids in need have the opportunity to use their talents – for art, for sport, for music – to their fullest potential.

That’s why this year’s Mayor’s Gala will be raising funds to support “Konnecting Kids.” A special partnership fund established in 2001 by the Town and Pelham Cares, “Konnecting Kids” allows a Pelham youth whose family has limited financial resources to participate in recreational, cultural, and educational programs.

The Mayor’s Gala will be on Saturday, May 8 at Peninsula Lakes Golf Club. For more information, tickets or to sponsor the event, please call 905-892-2607 ext. 337. Please consider giving Pelham’s youth the chance to reach their goals!