The Westfield High School Boys Hockey Team’s mission statement this academic year is ‘Live for Hockey, Love for Community’ and the team lived up to that mission over the weekend.
The boys volunteered at the YMCA Run for Everyone on Sunday, which hosted competitors from across New Jersey, who ran, walked and rolled across the finish line.
“It was really nice to see our team come together and give back to our community. The Westfield High School hockey program is trying to be more than just a varsity sport,” said CJ Duffy, a senior and the varsity hockey team captain.
“Off the ice, we are trying to give back to a town that has given us so much and volunteering to help this great cause was very rewarding for all of us.”
Greg Hatzisavvas, senior director of member wellness and engagement at the Westfield Area YMCA thanked the boys for their support.
“We are very grateful for the boys time and support of the special needs community and the Westfield Area YMCA,” Hatzisavvas said. “It is great to see so many young men giving back to others in their community.”
The Westfield hockey team providing more than 20 volunteers on race day, Hatzisavvas said of the boys, who he stationed at posts throughout the course to guide race participants.
The team also coordinated the kids’ run, which kicked off the festivities, guided runners, distributed water, handling runner completions and handed out ribbons for a celebration after the race.
The YMCA Run for Everyone proceeds help support the Dragonfly Program, which offers physical, recreational and social programs for young adults with special needs as well as the Inclusion Camp for those with special needs entering grades K-6.
This year’s proceeds will also go towards launching a new young adult program that works toward independence by developing basic life skills.
“It was really a rewarding experience to volunteer at the 5K because it allowed our team to give back while providing a great bonding opportunity,” said Brendan Kotiga, a sophomore who has played on the team for two years.
Owen Carolan, a freshman and new member to the team said, “It was an amazing experience to help out at the run and inspiring to see all of the competitors and their passion for competition regardless of their disabilities.”
CJ Duffy, Alex Park and Trevor Tanella led volunteer logistics for the team. Race day volunteers included Kyle Azzaretto, Joey Brogan, Shane Carlin, Owen Carolan, CJ Duffy, Ben Fishman, Liam Hiltwein, Tommy Hughes, John Humiston, Brendan Kotiga, Dan McDonald, Matt Moran, Michael O’Donnell, Tim O’Donnell, Alex Park, Timmy Rosa, Michael Rossin, Tyler Shabinaw, Jack Sumas and Trevor Tanella.