Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) – A lot of hockey skates will be sharpened and laced up over the next 11 days.
The 11 Day Power Play hit the ice at LECOM Harborcenter Wednesday morning in Downtown Buffalo.
The marathon event began in 2017. “We have 2,300 players registered this year,” said founder Amy Lesakowski. “We filled all of the shifts in January. Usually it takes months to recruit teams. But the schedule filled up early.” She said about 40% of players return each year.
The goal in 2023 is $1.6 million. So far, Lesakowski says they have raised $1.2 million.
“If we hit our goal, we are going to reach 10 million dollars since we’ve been established. It’s pretty incredible to see what this marathon hockey game has been able to do for our community.”
Funds raised from The 11 Day Power Play benefit wellness and research programs at Roswell Park, Make A Wish, and Camp Good Days and Special Times. “We’ve been able to support 200 wishes at Make A Wish and send more than 500 children to camp,” added Lesakowski.
Non-stop hockey will continue through July 1st. But community participation is also key to the success of the event.
“Our players love playing in front of a crowd. It helps them get through their three-hour shifts. It is free to attend. We have incredible merchandise as well as Petey, our Power Play mascot, Sabretooth, face painting, balloon making and lots of family fun activities. Come on down and see the players at any point during the 11 days.”
While the event is dedicated to raising money to fight cancer, it is a personal journey for many of the players. “We have a Puck Wall of Hope, here in Harborcenter,” noted Lesakowski. “By the end of the 11 days, you can see the support for patients who are currently battling cancer, or from people who are
playing in memory of a loved one. The messages on the wall are pretty impactful. You can definitely feel the love in the rink.”