DENVER — Thieves took off with thousands of dollars in adaptive hockey gear meant for players with disabilities, but Denver7 Gives viewers wanted to help get it back.
From children with disabilities to Wounded Warriors, Colorado Sled Hockey offers players with disabilities the chance to find a new life on the ice.
That chance was stolen during a practice last month when someone took off with their gear trailer, which contained thousands of dollars in sled, gloves and adaptive equipment.
"I was losing sleep thinking, 'Man, I'm not gonna be able to help nobody else with clinics,'" said Jerry DeVaul, a player and member of Colorado Sled Hockey. "We're constantly putting on clinics to help kids and veterans and other people with disabilities that don't understand that there's more to life than just their disability."
When Denver7 Gives viewers heard the story, they went straight to the "Replace Stolen Hockey Gear" fund on our website and donated $10,000.
"That is incredible," DeVaul said. "Thank you Denver7 and Denver7 viewers for helping us in this time of need — getting our guys and gals back out on the ice. Honestly, what it does for our community, as a disabled community, it's just huge."
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The generosity did not stop there. After the original story aired, another assist came from the nonprofit The PenaltyBox Foundation.
"They did an online auction for us and raised $15,000 in a week, which is just unbelievable," said Bruce Grandchamp, president of the Colorado Sled Hockey Association.
But then, it was time for a hat trick.
"So, Kroenke Sports Charities got wind of this story, and we work directly with Colorado Sled Hockey and Warrior Avs," said Rui Encarnacao, with Kroenke Sports Charities. "We want to make sure that they have all the equipment that they need that was unfortunately taken from them, and so they can get back onto the ice and play the sport that they love."
Encarnacao said Kroenke Sports Charities will present a donation to Colorado Sled Hockey at the next Avalanche game.
Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.