The Buffalo Sabres today announced plans to launch a pair of exciting new partnerships with the Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped (SABAH), and the Niagara Challengers Sled Hockey club.
Under their new partnership with SABAH, the Sabres will pay the rent for SABAH's new office space that will be located in the Riverside Senior Citizens Center adjacent to the Riverside Ice Rink, once renovations to the building are complete. The Sabres will also cover a portion of the renovation costs.
"Both of these partnerships just reinforce Tom Golisano's ongoing commitment to this community," said Buffalo Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn. "These groups were a natural fit for Tom and the Sabres, as he has devoted much of his charity and philanthropy to working with the disabled."
In addition, Sabres co-captain Chris Drury has been designated as SABAH's new spokesman. Drury and other Sabres players will be involved with SABAH events throughout Western New York.
"I'm honored to become SABAH's new spokesman," said Drury. "This is something I will take great pride in, and I look forward to our future projects."
The Niagara Challengers and Buffalo Freeze sled hockey teams have been renamed, and will now be known as the Buffalo Sabres Sled Hockey organization. Both teams will wear Buffalo's alternate red jerseys during games.
SABAH was the first organization in North America dedicated to providing physically and mentally challenged individuals with therapeutic ice skating lessons. These lessons enable SABAH skaters to acquire better overall health and wellness in physical, mental, emotional and social skills. It remains one of a handful of such organizations in the world. Locally there are more than 650 skaters enrolled in SABAH programs at five different rinks.
Sled Hockey is a sport that totally integrates players with mobility limitations, amputees and players with injuries that prevent them from participating in standard hockey. Using standard hockey rules, including legal body contact and raised puck shooting, players sit on specially designed sleds and use two short picks to propel themselves across the ice.