Nov 28, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Though Liverpool and Baldwinsville are long-time high school sports rivals, they got together Tuesday night at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena to do something special on behalf of a recuperating Baker High School student and her family.
Liverpool’s ice hockey team dedicated all proceeds from its home opener, a 1-1 tie against visiting Clinton, to the family of Kelly Gleason, 16, who was injured in an automobile accident that took the life of her mother, Audrey.
In all, more than $1,000 was raised through ticket proceeds, a 50-50 drawing and the donation of various gift baskets and other raffle items from various local businesses and organizations, including the Syracuse Crunch, whose mascot made an appearance at the game.
Back on Oct. 21, Kelly Gleason and her parents, Audrey and Dennis, were visiting relatives in the Buffalo area. Traveling back home in a Toyota SUV on Route 20 near Darien, in Genesee County, they were struck head-on by another car veering to avoid a vehicle turning left.
The crash killed Audrey Gleason, age 55, who was a bus driver and special education coach in the B’ville school district. Both Kelly and Dennis Gleason were taken to different Buffalo-area hospitals with numerous internal injuries, where a long recovery got underway.
When Liverpool ice hockey senior Kyle Broughton heard of Kelly Gleason’s rehabilitation, he suggested that the Warriors, who play home games at the same facility as B’ville does in Lysander, make its home opener a chance to raise funds to help the Gleason family.
Soon enough, both the Liverpool players and their parents sprung into action. The resulting work led to a large crowd that gathered at Lysander for a night full of festivities.
In addition to the fund-raising, two large posters, featuring pictures of Kelly Gleason, were mounted so that those in attendance could send get-well wishes to her and her father.
Audrey Gleason’s brother, Dave Przybylak, was present, and spoke to the crowd during pre-game ceremonies. He carried a message from Kelly and Dennis Gleason, saying that both of them were touched and humbled by the way the community has rallied around them.
Przybylak also offered an update on their conditions. Kelly Gleason is still hospitalized at Erie County Medical Center, but her father is out of the hospital, still recuperating and staying with his sister and brother-in-law in Marilla, east of Buffalo. Dennis Gleason, said Przybylak, visits his daughter every day to see how she is doing.
All of this made the game’s result rather trivial, but it was still a tight, well-played game. Ben Owens scored early in the second period to put Clinton up 1-0, but Liverpool’s Kody Gaulke answered on the power play with a wrist shot that found the net at the 11:22 mark.
Neither team would score again, with Liverpool’s eighth-grade goaltender, Steven Kozikoski, making a series of point-blank stops late in regulation, and again in the waning seconds of overtime. to preserve the tie. Kozikoski finished with 31 saves as Liverpool improved to 1-1-1 on the season.