by Carole Appleton, Executive Director
Westfield is a HOCKEY Town! High School Championships, College Hockey, Youth Hockey, Sled Hockey, Adult Hockey and Learn to Skates, Amelia Park offers opportunities at all levels to enjoy the sport of Hockey. This week, we take hockey to a DIFFERENT LEVEL!
MONDAY August 2nd at 6pm, two-time Women’s Olympian, Kacey Bellamy, gives back to her hometown by instructing a clinic for our young ladies in our Girls Hockey Clinic. Now Kacey didn’t train often as a kid at Amelia Park, due to the fact that by the time the rink was completed, she was already off in travel hockey and planning for a bigger stage – THE OLYMPICS! Kacey, however, remembers those who gave her opportunities to learn and she wants to extend that knowledge to the next generation of Olympians. Amelia Park Arena is proud to have her as a friend and we are grateful that she remembers her roots and is willing to share her amazing experiences! THANK YOU KACEY! Spots are still available for walk-ins for this clinic.
WEDNESDAY night, August 5th, starts one of the biggest weeks of the year with the 5th Annual Kevin J. Major Memorial Hockey Tournament. The tournament will run THURSDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHTS, all-day SATURDAY and CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY. It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years since we have seen the Cheshire Cat smile that Kevin had! I, personally, knew Kevin for most of his life. My earliest memories of him were at the Springfield Falcons games with his dad, Pat, where I was organizing, or yelling as they would recall, youth hockey players to go onto the ice for Youth Hockey Night at the NEST. He always had a smile on his face and hockey in his BLOOD. He played on so many different teams during his hockey career, he had friends from everywhere. After high school, he helped me organize our 18+ Summer League, where his buddies and their friends could compete with the same tenacity they did in their younger years. Those competitive juices are still flowing in most of them. The day Kevin left us, will always be etched in Kev’s friends and family’s minds. I was honored to be asked by the family, along with Caroline Browne, Richie Asselin, and others, to organize the first tournament in 3 weeks. It was a mad dash to get it put together, but what a wonderful tribute to Kev! My, how it has grown from 12 teams to 24 in such a short time!
This FREE event has something for everyone! Whether it’s the OLD BOYS division where former pros still strut their stuff, Kev’s youngest brother, Ryan, participating in the Peewee exhibition, the SOCIAL Division where it’s all about becoming the CHAMPS, or the “A” Division, where Kev’s brother, Sean, along with the guys who played with him or against him (or maybe even an NHLer), hope to raise KEV’s Cup in homage to Kev! There are raffles and silent auctions and merchandise (available starting Friday) and a Community Awareness Day (Saturday) where you can not only see great hockey, but you can learn Hands-Only CPR, participate in contests, and enjoy an ice cream social. Teams will be enjoying the summer weather, hopefully, and on Sunday you might see equipment drying out in between games, who knows. All proceeds support KEVS Foundation, that awards scholarships annually to local athletes and teams and educates and helps prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest in children and youth. Kevin had a condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), commonly known as an abnormally enlarged heart muscle, that led his Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Kevin never showed any symptoms of this condition.