The Big Assist VI
Terry Connors Ice Rink, Stamford
Photographs: Greg Raymond FCSP
A crowd of over 2,000 hockey fans filled Stamford’s Terry Connors Ice Rink for the 6th annual Big Assist charity hockey game on July 23rd. The event brings professional and college-level players, many of them local natives, to compete in a full scrimmage benefitting the Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation. Stand-out locals included the NHL’s Matt Moulson and Martin St. Louis, as well as Stamford native Ryan Haggerty of the NY Rangers and Max Pacioretty of New Canaan, a Montreal Canadiens star and member of the U.S. Olympic team. The game ended 12 to 6 in favor of Team Blue, but those goals were the least important of the night. Advanced ticket sales exceeded previous years by a vast margin, and the silent auction sold every item, the most sought-after being a Mark Messier signed jersey and a signed NY Rangers goalie stick. Pat Shannon, who organizes the event with son Ryan, a Darien native playing in the Swiss National League, said the turnout was “by far the most successful of all the years;” with proceeds making up nearly thirty percent of the total $250,000 raised since the inaugural game in 2009 (about $70,000). He said the organization has been blessed with the support of high profile, generous and kind athletes who conduct summer training with Ryan at BodyTuning in Darien. The appeal for these stars, he added, is that “they think about what it took to get where they are – and it takes family,” and a passionate community of supporters. The Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation provides financial assistance to individuals with spinal cord injuries and disease. The Big Assist is the organization’s major fundraiser, and annually fosters overwhelming support that continues to grow.
By Kieran McQuilkin