WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Inside the West Seneca ice rink, an equipment room sits with boxes full of skates, sticks, pads and helmets.
The room is a storage space for gently used hockey equipment for young players- but it hasn’t always been there. The gear was gathered after a massive community donation drive, spearheaded by an 11 year-old boy.
Tra’mell Wylie’s father says his son was at practice one day when he had an experience that touched him forever.
“Tra’mell was at the hockey rink one day, and a young kid came in and wanted to play,” said Tra’mell’s dad Mark Wylie. “The next day, Tra’mell didn’t see him on the ice and he said ‘Dad, why isn’t he on the ice?’ I said ‘he’s got to wait to get equipment.”
It wasn’t long before Tra’mell had an idea, one that could help many kids get on the ice.
“Tra’mell came up with the idea of doing a fundraiser for equipment,” Wylie said.
After Wylie posted on Facebook, the drive caught on like wildfire. Donations started pouring in to the rink, and the Wylie house.
“He did a really good job getting the program started, and I hope it continues,” Wylie said.
Playing hockey is not easy on a parent’s wallet. The average cost for a child to play is anywhere from $250-$1,000 just for the equipment. Rink and league fees are separate,
Tra’mell says he didn’t want anyone to be left out.
“I’m so proud of my children and what they think of,” Mark said. “It amazes me everyday.”
The Wylie family says they hope people keep donating so they can continue to help kids play hockey.