Devils’ Stroke Awareness Game Friday

Submitted Photo The Fredonia men's hockey team poses with residents of the Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Special to the OBSERVER

For the second consecutive year, the Fredonia men’s hockey team will honor stroke victims by wearing specially designed red jerseys for their SUNYAC game Friday against the Potsdam Bears.

Blue Devil hockey player Luke Rivera is once again behind the efforts to raising awareness and raise money. He drew his inspiration from his mother, Dana, who has gained full mobility after suffering a stroke eight years ago.

Mrs. Rivera and Dan Kubera, a long-time friend of Fredonia hockey and also a stroke survivor, participated in a ceremonial puck drop at last year’s Stroke Awareness Game. This year the honor will go to 70-year-old Bob Lysyj, the father of Blue Devil assistant men’s hockey coach Mike Lysyj.

In advance of Friday’s game, the Blue Devils recently visited the the Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Temple Road in Dunkirk to visit with elderly patients there.

Rivera said donations to date have nearly exceeded the approximately $8,500 raised last year through the sale of jerseys for $100 each, $5 raffle tickets, and donations. A table to accept more donations and purchase raffle tickets will be set up in the Steele Hall lobby at Friday’s game. Raffle items include an NHL hockey stick signed by Adam Erne of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch, a barbeque set, a signed Fredonia stroke awareness jersey, Buffalo Sabre tickets, and a Nintendo DS.

“My grandmother, Arleen Bachner, has been a tremendous help with collecting donations,” Rivera said. “We will also have a Snapchat filter available for the game.”

Proceeds will benefit The Foundation of Kaleida Health.

Game time is 7 p.m. with doors set to open at 6 p.m.