Waterville Alfond Youth center receives grant for Ice Hockey program
WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - The Waterville Area Alfond Youth and Community Center has received a $10,000 grant for youth ice hockey programming in Central Maine.
Most of that money will help with scholarship funds for 25-30 disadvantaged youth who want to play hockey but can’t afford registration costs or equipment.
”This is an opportunity to get kids in our after school program, kids that have never been on ice before a chance to play hockey,” Ken Walsh, CEO of the youth center said.
The $10,000 grant to the Alfond Youth and Community Center in Waterville was made possible by the National hockey League.
”The partnership between the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the NHL is just a wonderful marriage because it is so difficult to get kids on the ice, even here in Maine,” he said.
Part of that is due to the cost. Walsh said it costs a thousand dollars per child to play hockey.
”NHL said, ‘listen Boys and Girls Club, we want to be a partner here. We want to give every kid an opportunity with no barriers to get into skating.’“
While there is a future plan to build an arena, Walsh said in the meantime, this grant will offset the cost to play.
”The fees, a culmination of getting kids to tournaments, a culmination of helping with coaching, a culmination of getting volunteers, Walsh explained.
All of which he says are important, especially in Maine.
”Today, as we know, the temperatures are dropping, you know, for the next couple of weeks, so instead of being inside, you know, just like the old days when we can open up some areas for skating, these kids will use their creativity and imagination,” he said.
“Now, they have skates on and learn how to skate, but you have to start somewhere teaching them fundamentals, and this is what this grant is going to do,” Walsh said.
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