By @StefanKubus –
The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association announced Wednesday a donation of 25 brand new sets of hockey equipment, courtesy of the NHLPA’s Goals & Dreams fund.
KOHA is partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo, and this donation will help introduce disadvantaged youth in Kalamazoo County to the game of ice hockey.
Adam Hall, a Michigan State and USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program alum and 11-year NHL veteran, grew up in the Kalamazoo area and is working with KOHA on this initiative.
“KOHA and the Kalamazoo hockey community is where my love for the game began,” the Kalamazoo native said. “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 will take part in KOHA’s Get Out And Learn (G.O.A.L.) Program—established to introduce kids to hockey—starting September 22nd, at no cost.
The equipment provided by the NHLPA’s Goals & Dreams fund will ensure the kids served are able to love our great game safely.
“The NHLPA grant was really the springboard for this program’s execution,” said KOHA hockey director Matt Kakabeeke. “Without it, KOHA simply does not have the resources to introduce these kids to the game.”
In addition to KOHA’s direct involvement, representatives from the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League, Western Michigan University Broncos (NCHC), Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL), and Wings West Ice Arena are expected to assist in these efforts to enhance the experience for all participants.