Join former Valley Jr. Warrior Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers and Olympian Chanda Gunn at the first annual Epilepsy Foundation of New England’s ‘Slap Out Epilepsy’ event! The event will take place at Harrison Rink at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts on Saturday June 23rd.
The event is a charity hockey clinic designed to raise money and advocate for the the young leaders affected by epilepsy. Although the event is hockey related, this event is open to anyone interested in attending and especially anyone personally affected by the cause. Olympic goaltender Chanda Gunn is a spokesperson for the cause and has had a fundamental role in putting on the event.
“I didn’t understand how important it was to talk about the fact that I had epilepsy and once I did start talking about my seizures and having epilepsy and the things that were easier for me and the things that were harder for me, the response I got from the community was just super overwhelming. Hockey kind of gave me a stage to share my story, it gave me opportunity to share my story, it gave me opportunity to reach a lot of people and once I did there was sort of no turning back.”
Also affected by epilepsy is New York Ranger left winger Chris Kreider who’s cousin struggles with seizures. “My cousin struggles with epileptic seizures. It’s a scary thing to see a kid go through something like that, and I know hockey has been a bright spot for her over the course of a pretty difficult stretch,” said Kreider.
The event will be broken into separate parts of the day. The first portion of the day will be a three-hour station based hockey clinic available for all skill levels. The second portion of the day will be a special hockey free skate and sled demonstration for kids who may have mobility issues. This is also an opportunity for people to meet Chris Kreider or some of the team USA Players.
According to the event website, \$16,000 has been raised so far with a goal of \$20,000. The suggested donation is 26 dollars meant to illustrate the 1 in 26 people who will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.
Some of the major goals for the event include a fundraising goal and the goal of raising awareness about epilepsy. “We’re reaching out to people who either have epilepsy and are living with epilepsy and may feel alone, may feel like no one else has epilepsy, may be struggling with epilepsy, or may have lost a child to epilepsy recently. We’re having this clinic and bringing those people together and doing outreach because a lot of people haven’t heard of epilepsy or it just isn’t talked about,” Said Gunn.
Kreider says raising awareness and money are two of his big goals for the event. “I think raising awareness is definitely key. Also raising as much money as we possibly can. There will definitely be some really cool auction items available.”
For more information on the event and how you can get involved visit https://www.classy.org/event/slap-out-epilepsy/e182498.