Youth hockey tournament raises $5K for Gold Star families
To honor the memory of Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in February, a youth hockey charity tournament was held April 7 and raised more than $5,000 for the Gold Star families and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
The inaugural fundraiser, called the Chicago Police Youth Hockey Jamboree, was organized by Training Officer Martin Foley. More than 90 players from Chicago Police families participated, representing 16 youth hockey clubs across the city and suburbs.
"We hope this will now go on as a tradition every year with the kids," said parent Lisa Daquilante, whose first-grade daughter Madelyn, a member of the Park Ridge Northern Express team, was among the participants.
"They really do love it, and it helps them understand that we are all a family and are there to always support each other."
Sixth-grader Francesca Varallo, who plays for the Glenview Stars U12 Girls Team, said the jamboree was fun, and she liked seeing kids from different hockey teams playing together.
"It was such a cool way to be able to support the police families," she said.
Five Gold Star families and two injured police officers attended, as did the Chicago Police Department Honor Guard, Canine Unit and Mounted Unit.
The games were played at the MB Ice Arena, which donated the ice time for the event.
"A large part of what we do with our youth hockey players is to teach them life lessons and make them responsible young men and women. There are no better role models than the officers that protect our great city," said Gino Cavallini, president of the Chicago Mission AAA Hockey Club, which hosted the event.
Players representing the following teams participated: the Niles Rangers, Park Ridge Northern Express, Chicago Blues, Skokie Flyers, Morgan Park Horned Frogs, Elmhurst Chiefs, St. Jude Knights, Chicago Bulldogs, The Mission, The CYA, The Ice Dogs, Glenview Stars, Chicago Bruins, Chicago Stallions, Chicago Riverdogs, Homewood Flossmoor Vikings and the Orland Park Jr. Fury.
Foley credited the volunteers for helping to make the event a success, including MC Ice Arena staff members Gregory Tam, Megan Burciaga and Mike Lushniak.
"I don't think I will ever forget our first meeting with Greg and Mike, along with Gold Star family member Denise Domagala, as she told us her husband's story after being shot in the line of duty," Foley said. "It really solidified to me that we were doing the right thing."