People of all abilities hit the ice in support of Hockey for Hope fundraiser

We're always trying to reach kids and adults with physical disabilities and disabled vets that might be interested in coming on board."

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — A sled hockey game is helping raise money for people facing mobility challenges.

“Every March, Hope Incorporated holds its Hockey for Hope fundraiser and not only does it help support our organization, it also brings awareness to what we provide. We’re always trying to reach kids and adults with physical disabilities and disabled vets that might be interested in coming on board,” Hope Inc. Executive Director, Bill Grommesh said.

The fundraiser allows for people of all abilities to experience a game of sled hockey and that is where the awareness comes in.

“My son was born with Spina Bifida so we’ve been part of the Hope organization for over five years now. It’s been a real blessing in our family and for our son to have him get out and participate in various sports. So it’s important for us to get out and participate in the charity functions to keep the program going,” Sled Hockey Player, Tyler Woitzel said.

Some players say it helps put things into perspective as to what someone with a disability may experience in their everyday lives.

“People that push around everyday in a wheelchair… they don’t use their legs, it’s their arms are their legs and it’s the muscles. So for people to get out and experience what it’s like to push around in a sled for an hour is very much what we do everyday as someone in a wheelchair,” Sled Hockey Player, Shane Kvalevog said.

“You don’t realize how much they have to make small changes in their lives and it makes you realize how much we take for granted. With adaptive sports it allows someone who either never had the ability to walk or who lost the ability to walk to engage in a sport that they may have never otherwise had an opportunity. It really brings into focus all the things we just take for granted on a day to day basis,” Sled Hockey Player, Robyn Starleaf said.

Through fundraising, Grommesh says he hopes to continue helping and showing his support for people with physical disabilities.

“With Hope Incorporated we’re always looking to create awareness of what we do. Folks with physical disabilities often struggle from anxiety and depression and isolation. We want to bring folks together and make them part of the Hope Incorporated family,” Grommesh said.

For more information on how to participate in adaptive sports, click here.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News