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Great Plains Collegiate Inline Hockey League


LU softball and roller hockey teams spends a day with kids with cancer

GPCIHL  January 27th, 2015 at 5:28PM  January 28th, 2015 5:24AM

On a brisk Saturday afternoon on the campus of Lindenwood University, Rainbows for Kids and Lindenwood’s Roller Hockey and Softball teams partnered up together for the third straight year for the “All-Star Hockey” event.  This event gives kids that have been diagnosed with cancer a chance at a little normality in their sometimes trying and difficult everyday lives.

These kids, including a girl in a wheelchair, a boy who is legally blind, a girl with a prosthetic leg, a boy who has had a multi-organ transplant, along with their brothers and sisters were first fitted for helmets that were donated by the Cardinal Glennon Foundation.  They were then paired up with one roller hockey player and one softball player and headed downstairs to the multi-purpose room where they split up and "hung out" with the collegiate athletes. The kids were equipped with hockey sticks and balls as the volunteers helped run them through drills. It was fun for the children who got to talk and joke with the student athletes, and it was fun for the parents who got to spend some time with each other. 

Former St. Louis Blues player Mike Zuke took the time to come out and talk with the kids about his time with the Blues. He signed autographs and visited with the children and their parents. Zuke played for the Blues from 1978-'83.

There are many organizations out there who step in to help with planning activities and fun events for the families affected by this illness. Rainbows for Kids is in its 15th year and provides about 15 events per year for these families to attend.  An event like this is great for many types of people because it gives the collegiate athletes a chance to volunteer their time, parents a chance to catch up, and kids a chance to learn new skills, all while having fun. Lindenwood Roller Hockey coaches Ron Beilsten, Jon Hilke, Jim Jones, and Tom Schneider were all on hand with their Division 1 and Division 3 teams.  “I think our players come away from the event with a better understanding of the world around them outside of school and athletics,” Coach Beilsten said, “All involved walk away energized by the time spent with the Rainbows for Kids group.”

The owners of Pirrone’s Pizza (in Florissant and St. Peters) brought smiles to everyone's faces by donating and delivering pizzas, Steak N Shake provided cookies, and Sam's Clubs donated the drinks for everyone involved. Maestro Printing helped by donating t-shirts for the kids and volunteers as well.

On Saturday morning, there were smiles all around in the Evans Commons Building at Lindenwood. No one focused on physical limitations and no one worried about treatments. They were all just a bunch of kids, doing what kids like to do best…having fun.

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