The Gift of a Generous Young Man
Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Wings of Steel sled hockey team, for the better part of a decade, as a team we have had a lot of success, winning championships and tournaments. The team has experienced some tough losses also. Both losses on the ice and personal losses, off the ice. Life is a roller coaster.

Generosity is another trait our team has enjoyed, from our annual golf outing which has turned out to be a most successful event that no one wants to miss, to skating against able body teams.

This recent endeavor allows able -bodied hockey players to get in a sled and experience hockey from a different perspective. Recently we played against a Flyers youth team, mostly 12-13 year olds, and as a result of that experience I wanted to share a letter we received from one of their players, Sam Stofman, who recently completed his Bar Mitzvah, after playing sled hockey for the first time, he writes:

“For my mitzvah project I chose to become involved with an organization known as Virtua Wings of Steel, a sled hockey team. Sled hockey is an adaptive sport that allows people with physical disabilities to skate and play ice hockey. The disabled kids play hockey by skating on sleds, using their arms and two sticks with picks to propel them across the ice. Because of the high cost of the medical care for these kids, their families have little money to pay for fun activities, like hockey. The Wings of Steel fully funds the cost of ice time and equipment through fundraising. My Hockey team donated money so we can buy ice time, play against the team and we donated our proceeds to this organization.

This was an awesome experience! What really amazed me is that some of these kids, who do not have the ability to walk, still strived to play the sport that they love. This was not easy for many of them, some used crutches, some in wheel chairs and one even had a heart transplant 5 months ago. Seeing how dedicated these kids were also showed me that I shouldn’t be taking things for granted, not even being able to walk, talk, hear or see. I was so moved by this experience that I am donating a portion of my Bar Mitzvah gifts to this wonderful charity. I am proud to be able to donate a sled to their team”.

Ok, just so you know our sleds cost almost $600!! Sam’s generosity has purchased the team a brand new sled for the team.

In a time where so many people feel the younger generation are always looking for something “more”, Sam is a young teenager setting an example of an appreciation for different abilities and what true generosity is all about.

Thanks again Sam, you rock!!

Written by Mike Costantino