Saturday, 22 December 2012

Bridgeport Is All Class

The AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers are the closest professional hockey team to Newtown, Connecticut where 26 innocent people lost their lives. The Sound Tigers took to the ice tonight wearing the names of the children who lost their lives in the tragedy, and allowed any Newport resident to attend tonight's game for free. In addition to this, the games on December 26 and 29 will also feature free admission for Newtown residents. While this may seem like small potatoes in terms of what the team could do, perhaps seeing a hockey game can allow a few people who are living in the tragedy an escape from the sadness hanging over Newtown. In any case, the Sound Tigers are wearing the names of the children who were taken far too early from their families.

In honour of the children who were lost in this senseless tragedy, I will list the Sound Tiger players and the name of the child each player wore with the child's age in parentheses. For the next week, the Sound Tigers will remember these children by honouring them on their uniforms.

#22 Nino Niederreiter - Chase Kowalski (7)
#11 Casey Cizikas - Noah Pozner (6)
#13 Colin McDonald - Grace McDonnell (7)
#23 John Persson - Olivia Engel (6)
#28 Johan Sundstrom - Catherine Hubbard (6)
#24 David Ullstrom - Jessica Rekos (6)
#5 Jack Combs - Josephine Gay (7)
#18 Chad Costello - Jack Pinto (6)
#42 Brandon DeFazio - Allison Wyatt (6)
#44 Brett Gallant - Benjamin Wheeler (6)
#14 Matt Watkins - Avielle Richman (6)
#20 Blair Riley - Jesse Lewis (6)
#46 Matt Donovan - Caroline Previdi (6)
#6 Ty Wishart - James Mattioli (6)
#27 Aaron Ness - Madeleine Hsu (6)
#8 Nathan McIver - Charlotte Bacon (6)
#25 Jordan Hill - Daniel Barden (7)
#7 Jon Landry - Dylan Hockley (6)
#45 Anders Nilsson - Emilie Parker (6)
#38 Kevin Poulin - Ana Marquez-Greene (6)

The last name on that list - Ana Marquez-Greene, as shown to the left - hits a little closer to home. Miss Marquez-Greene and her family had moved to Connecticut from Winnipeg recently, and were settling into their new lives when Adam Lanza committed his horrific act. Jimmy Greene, Ana's father, is a Hartford native, and taught for three years at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Music. Nelba Marquez-Greene, Ana's mother, worked at the University of Winnipeg. Mr. Greene had decided to take a position as music professor and assistant jazz program coordinator at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, prompting the move to Newtown a short drive from Danbury.

I'm quite certain that the Marquez-Greene family never expected this to happen just as the town never expected something like this to happen. It's tough enough to get acclimatized to a new town, school, and neighborhood, but this is beyond difficult. I want the Marquez-Greene family to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. I didn't know the family or Ana, but I'm quite certain neither Ana nor the Marquez-Greene family deserved this outcome.

If you'd like to help the Marquez-Greene family out, the Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Music Scholarship Fund has been set up at Western Connecticut State University, and the Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Family Therapy Fund has been set up at the Klingberg Family Centers. Donations can be made in Ana's name to the Artists' Collective in Hartford as well. Thank you to all who have helped, are planning to help, and will help. Your efforts will not go unrewarded or unappreciated.

To all the families in Newtown who lost a loved one, HBIC is truly sorry for your loss, and I hope that there will be brighter days in the future for all of you. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are helping to remember the names of those children who were so brutally taken from the world before they even began realizing their potentials, and I'm happy that they are doing it with an extreme amount of class.

Rest in peace, children. Raise your sticks in their honour!

1 comment:

ice hockey said...

Classy move by the Islanders minor league team in Bridgeport by wearing names of Newtown victims on back of their jerseys.