WESTFIELD, NJ — A fifth-grade hockey goalie from Tamaques School has raised nearly $3,500 for cancer research, rising to fourth globally in the October Saves Challenge this year — an effort by goalies to raise money for charities that benefit cancer research.

Luke Politi’s annual participation in the effort gained more significance when doctors diagnosed his mother, Lauren Politi, with breast cancer just seven days after last year’s challenge.

“It makes me really proud,” said Lauren Politi. “The support we’ve been getting from family, the Westfield community and hockey community is unbelievable. Being top five globally is awesome, but the best part is giving other kids a number to strive for.”

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Usually, along with flat donations, a pledge to donate a certain amount per save is an option to donate to a goalie, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Politi family is asking for flat donations only.

“No spectators are allowed in the rinks right now because of coronavirus, so nobody can count the amount of saves I have,” Luke Politi said. “Flat donations will be much easier than having people come into the rinks to count saves.”

Luke Politi has raised almost a quarter of New Jersey’s total, which sits second in the state rankings with $16,598.90.

“Even Luke’s younger brother, who’s not a goalie, is doing everything possible to help as well, which makes me so proud,” Lauren Politi said. “It’s nice to see my boys, the team and hockey community get behind a cause that has deeply affected our family.”

Politi’s October Saves page, along with a donation bar can be found here.

Michael Siroty is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.

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