AMDSB Alumnus Skates for Autism Awareness

Former Avon Maitland Student Jamie Nelson
Pays Tribute to Cousin Jordan

Hockey for Autism Awareness

Steve Samoyedny, Four Seasons Photography, Clark Mills, NY

By Brandy Thurston, 1/22/2013, State University of New York Athletic Conference

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The ending couldn’t have played out any more perfectly than it did Saturday night, when Morrisville State College mens' ice hockey took SUNY Potsdam into overtime and dramatically posted a 5-4 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) victory.

But what meant more than just the win on the ice, was the game that was being played to raise awareness for autism, organized by Mustang captain Jamie Nelson, a former Avon Maitland student in Stratford.

Nelson’s initiative and support from fellow teammates off the ice for the event created tremendous backing from the community, raising more than $3900 for the Autism Speaks and The Kelberman Center, Inc. organizations through donations received at the gate, raffles, and with an online commemorative jersey auction that donned the jigsaw puzzle pieces identifiable to autism awareness.

Autism is near to the heart of the hockey program, and it was fitting that Nelson’s cousin Jordan, who is autistic, joined the captain for the ceremonial puck drop. Jordan is a student with special needs who attends Stratford Northwestern Secondary School. What couldn’t have been written any better, was Nelson capturing the buzzer beating score with 1.2 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Mustangs the victory in front of those that had come to the IcePlex to support the charitable efforts of the hockey program.

As part of a continuing community service program within the athletic department, student-athletes are involved in a variety of service programs, benefiting both the campus and surrounding communities.

Each year, the Morrisville State hockey program reaches out to the community to raise funding and awareness for a not-for-profit organization that in some way has touched their lives for the greater good. In recent years, their efforts have led to more than $13,000 that has been donated to Saves For A Cure, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and now Autism Speaks and The Kelberman Center, Inc.