USA Hockey Magazine

June/July 2020

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12 // JUNE/JULY 2020 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM L ooking back at 2016, it was a tough year for Andrew Low. He had lost both of his grandparents to cancer, and his dog died from the disease on Christmas morning. But instead of dwelling on how cancer impacted his family, he decided to turn tragedy into charity. Four years later, the 16-year- old high school junior from Morristown, N.J., launched a program that uses hockey as a vehicle to raise money for pediatric cancer through his charity, Kids Ice Cancer. Last year, Low and his var- sity hockey team raised more than $14,000 for St. Jude Children Research Hospital. After that, Low set a personal goal to raise $100,000 over his four years in high school. To say his endeavor has exceeded those goals is an understatement. Low and Kids Ice Cancer planned an all-star charity game that was unfortunately postponed due to the current coronavirus crisis. But that didn't stop his mission to help those affected by pediatric cancer. In just a few months, he recruited more than 40 players who, under his leadership, have raised close to $125,000 for The Valerie Fund, an organization that provides patients with a team of social workers, psychologists and child life specialists that support them throughout their journey. "When I first started to plan the game, I thought that having 40 really talented play- ers would make it exciting," Low said. "But I also wanted people who were extremely committed and passionate about the same thing. It's not about how good the hockey player is, it's about someone who's real- ly going to do the right thing." W hat started as a hockey game has become something much bigger for everyone involved, including spon- sors such as NBC Sports and DeWalt. "He's a self less person; he's just trying to do good for other people," said Wendy Low, Andrew's mother. "He's leading all these people, he's sending newsletters, he's writing to parents. And he's also learn- ing to run a business. He created his own brand, his own logo and stationary for thank you cards. "I'm proud of the life lessons he's learning from all of this, not only that he's doing well. He's helping others and inspiring others. That's what's so amazing." The Kids Ice Cancer charity all-star game will be rescheduled whenever the host rink reopens, and, until then, Low will focus on rais- ing even more money for The Valerie Fund. For more information on the charity visit P WOMEN COMMUNITY N.J. High Schooler Turning Tragedy Into Charity O F F T HE D R AW 3 Buoyed by the N.Y. Islanders dynas- ty in the early 1980s, hockey on Long Island, N.Y., has a long and proud history of producing great players and teams. Over the years numerous boys and girls have gone on to play for NCAA Div. I and III programs around the country. And now some of these athletes will be able to stick close to home and play the game while pursuing their educa- tion with the announcement that Long Island University will add Div. I men's ice hockey to its athletics department starting with the 2020-21 season. The men's program will join the women's squad that won the New England Women's Hockey Alliance conference championship in its first season of play. Following a national search the school announced that Brett Riley will become the team's head coach. The son of long-time U.S. Military Academy head coach Rob Riley and the grandson of legendary Army and 1960 U.S. Olympic Team head coach Jack Riley, Riley served as an assistant last season at Colgate University. Prior to that, he spent three seasons as head coach at Div. III Wilkes (Pa.), where he started the program from scratch. Riley's first order of business will be forming a coaching staff in addition to creating a schedule of games, which could be a challenge during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Fielding a competitive team would also be a challenge, but given the grassroots programs in the area, there could potentially be no shortage of talented players to choose from. According to The Hockey News, the school sent out a questionnaire for future students who might be interest- ed in playing for the team and received 300 responses within the first 24 hours. Long Island Prepares For College Hockey Puck Drop PHOTOS COURTESY OF Wendy Low; Long Island University COLLEGE

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