Second annual pond hockey tournament scheduled

Kathleen Meskill, Staff Writer

With the ponds, lakes, and bays frozen over all around Minnesota, the second annual Jack Jablonski Junior Bronze Pond Hockey Tournament is approaching. Run by seniors Arthur Boyle, Jake Szarzynski, and Mario Zattoni, after the huge success experienced last year, they decided to make the tournament a yearly occurrence.

This tournament is set to be held on Sunday, January 27 as a fundraiser to raise money for the Jack Jablonski Believe in Miracles Foundation to help other families in similar situations and to keep the awareness of the Jablonski’s situation alive. Anyone can participate in this event through volunteering or by competing in the tournament. Last year, at the inaugural event, there were 1,000 people in attendance and over $50,000 was raised for the Jablonski’s.

Hosted on Excelsior Bay on Lake Minnetonka, teams of six to twelve people compete against other teams in six on six pond hockey games. However, the number of teams may have a limit. “Last year we put a limited amount of teams because everyone wanted to play,” Boyle said.

This year’s fundraiser will just be a pond tournament as opposed to having other money-raising events like the previous year. “Last year there was a whole silent auction, but this year, we think we are just going to do the tournament,” Boyle said.

By only hosting a pond hockey tournament this year, the hosts are planning on a decrease in the attendance numbers from last year. “It’s going to be a lot smaller. This year our goal is 15,000-20,000 dollars,” Zattoni said.

However, there will be other opportunities for people to raise money other than paying the ten dollar entrance and participation fee. “We’ll have some stuff to sell like other Jabby merchandise, and then we’ll have a place you can donate if you want to,” Boyle said.

One major difference from last year’s tournament is that Jack Jablonski himself will be attending this year. “It’s exciting that Jack will be there this year along with Max and Mr. Jablonski,” Zattoni said.

Participating in this event not only is a fun experience, but it is a place where people can get together and help out a family who they either know very well, or don’t know at all. “It was fun to get out and skate and know that you are doing it for a good cause,” junior participant Will Jarvis said.