Back for a second year, the Rochester Jr. Americans, Rochester’s largest youth hockey organization, is hosting a fundraising tournament to benefit Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge and Golisano Children’s Hospital on Saturday, July 30, at Rochester Ice Center, 80 Lyndon Road, Fairport. This year’s event includes an outdoor festival open to the entire community from noon to 8 p.m.
The outdoor festival will feature live music from the Tommy Brunett Band, Begging Angels and the M80’s. There will also be food trucks, a beer tent, a used hockey equipment sale and games. Attendees can bid on silent auction items that include a suite at an upcoming Rochester Americans or Rochester Knighthawks game, signed hockey items, PGA tickets and more. All proceeds will benefit Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge Foundation for Golisano Children’s Hospital.
In addition, the Jr. Amerks will host a 3v3 fundraising tournament indoors at Rochester Ice Center throughout the day. Over 200 Jr. Amerks players will participate in this tournament, which includes games and the Jr. Amerks Slap Shot Challenge, where players will compete to win prizes for the hardest slap shot in each age division. Last year, the Jr. Amerks raised over $6,000 for Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge.
“Last year’s event was a big success for Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge, and we wanted to come back and make this year’s event bigger, better and open to the entire community,” said Jennifer O’Donnell, one of the founders of Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge and mother of Kyle O’Donnell. “This all started with our son Kyle’s vision and determination, and we hope this year’s event will get him closer to reaching his goal of helping Golisano Children’s Hospital improve the experience for both children and families who visit the hospital.”
Kyle O’Donnell, 17, is a former Jr. Amerks player who was diagnosed with pediatric cancer last year. He is undergoing treatment at Golisano Children’s Hospital and started the Slap Shot Challenge as a way to support a health, fitness and well-being program for oncology patients and their families as they deal with the stress, pressure and anxiety of oncology treatments. Recently, Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge presented its first $10,000 check to Golisano Children’s Hospital. The proceeds will go toward updating the hospital’s teen lounge. Kyle is a 2022 graduate of Fairport High School, with plans to attend Nazareth College in fall 2023.
Kyle’s Slap Shot Challenge Tournament & Festival is sponsored by Wegmans, Rochester Ice Center, ADMAR, YEW!, Brand Specialties, Kona Ice, Doodle Bugs, Rentals To Go, Ray Sands Glass and Mr. Glass. For more information, visit www.jramerks.com/kylestournament or www.kylesslapshot.org.