Play, with a purpose: BHS boys hockey team puts season focus on giving back

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Members of the BHS boys hockey team recently spent a day splitting and stacking wood for a local family in need of help.

BURRILLVILLE – It has been a season not just of sportsmanship, but also giving back for the Burrillville High School boys hockey team, and the group’s final regular season game will be no exception.

When the team takes on North Kingstown at Levy Rink on Saturday, Feb, 17, they’ll dedicate the event to Burrillville-based organization Between the Cracks, raising both money and awareness of help that’s available to the local community.

“The team has been focused this year on supporting our community that is so supportive of us,” said Crystal Fullam, a parent and member of the hockey booster club. “The team community involvement this year has been rewarding.”

The charitable acts began during the Christmas season, when the team provided holiday gifts for a family of five, donating books, toys, clothes, and gift cards for food and necessities.

Soon after, team members learned of another local family that had fallen ill, and spent a day cutting, splitting and stacking cords of wood to help keep them warm through the remainder of the winter.

On February 17, the team will continue the good work by collecting donations for Between the Cracks, a group first started in Burrillville by a single individual raising funds to help kids in need of sports equipment. More than 30 years later, the organization is a 501 c 3 that supports the community through donations and fundraising events, such as their annual golf tournament.

“They consider direct assistance requests as well as collaborate with the town, schools and police department,” explained Fullam, noting that the group helps locals with a variety of short-term needs such as utilities, food, clothing and prescriptions. “The core group is small, but pulls additional help for annual fundraisers as well as around the holidays. They are always looking for volunteers with fundraising event ideas.”

In addition to collecting monetary donations at the team’s final regular season home game, they will provide contact information for anyone in need – or for those who would like to support the organization or get involved. A representative from Between the Cracks will be on hand to answer any questions.

Fullam noted that the community fun will continue the following day, on Sunday, Feb. 18, when the Burrillville Junior Hockey League hosts open skate night from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

She said that the community focus this season is in effort to acknowledge the immense support the team has received over the years. The Bronco boys hockey team holds two annual fundraising golf and hockey tournaments, and has enjoyed well-attended home games. Locals, including Michelle Menard and realtor Kathy Foisy have served as volunteer photographers, helping to capture the the squad’s special moments.

“It’s heart warming and a great sense of town pride to watch the players from the start with the Burrillville Junior Hockey League through high school,” said Fullam.

With a record of 7-4, the BHS team still has their Class of 2024 Senior Recognition home game to play on Friday, Feb. 9 against Barrington starting at 8 p.m. Burrillville students in grades K through 12 are invited to attend that game, which will include participation by the Bronco mascot, for free.

The following weekend, the charity match to benefit Between the Cracks will take place at the Burrillville-based rink at 425 East Ave. starting at 8:30 p.m. Admission costs $7 per person, or $5 for seniors and students.

For those in need of assistance or who would like support Between the Cracks, the organization can be found on Facebook here, and their phone number is (401) 291-0590. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 468 Harrisville, RI 02830.

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