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Hamburg family continues late son's legacy through memorial hockey competition

"The kid was larger than life"
Posted at 11:18 PM, Feb 25, 2020

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — About a year ago, Edward Travis IV, better known as "Eddie," played his last hockey game. His family said it was his passion. That's why they chose to continue his legacy on the ice after he passed away in June.

"He was really the heart of our family," said his mom, Lisa Travis. His sister, Becca, added, "[He was] the light of everything."

From Cub Scouts to baseball, Eddie was involved in it all. But he left his passion on the ice.

"He had no fear. He would go out there and protect his teammates," said Eddie's dad, Edward Travis III.

Eddie learned to skate at Holiday Rink in Cheektowaga. His mom said at first, he struggled stopping with his left foot.

"He was so adorable with his little walker," she said. Over the years, Eddie collected dozens of medals, jerseys and team photos.

In his last few years, he played with the Southtowns Stars and his high school.

But outside of the rink, his family was his main focus.

Eddie's girlfriend, Lizzy, was considered part of the family too.

"We really were tight-knit. We were a family," Lisa said. Becca added, "We were the family you see in stories."

"You want to talk about a fairy tale? Eddie and Lizzy are a fairy tale," Lisa said.

Last June was Eddie's senior prom.

"The thing that sticks with me was when she came walking in the door, it wasn't like the prom, it was like their wedding day," his dad said.

But hours later, everything changed. A crash on Southwestern Boulevard in West Seneca took Eddie's life as the couple was driving to a community service event.

"They said it was him and it just... our world broke. And, like, it just broke," his mom said through tears.

"Nothing is the same as it was and it's not going to be the same," Becca said.

It was just days before he was set to graduate. His Frontier classmates honored him on their last day of school.

"When you see how many lives he touched and we didn't even know it as parents. It was really something else," Eddie's dad said.

Eight months later, they say it's the silence that makes each day so difficult.

"Mentioning his name is only going to lift our spirits. It's not going to put it down because he was that special of a kid," said his dad. "There's no script written on how you get through it... there are no wrong words. The wrong words are the words left unsaid."

Eddie's family wants to keep his name in the front of their minds. In a few months, they will hold a memorial hockey skills competition, open to anyone ages seven through 20 at Northtown Center in Amherst.

"We want to be able to give back," Lisa said. "Eddie loved the sport and we want other kids to love it too."

The competition isn't until June but the family is hoping to gain as many participants and sponsors as possible now. All of the money collected will go toward sponsoring kids with the same love Eddie had for the sport.

While Eddie's life may have been cut short, his legacy is just beginning.

"Come celebrate with us. Make it a party. Let's celebrate this great kid because he was a great kid," Lisa said.

The Travis family hopes to hold this event for at least four years in honor of his name: Edward Travis IV.