It was an early fall evening, creeping toward dinnertime, and you could feel the mid-October weekend slipping away. If you were on the Princeton Day School campus, you may have seen the cars arriving at the Lisa McGraw Rink, where skaters of all ages, from grade school through high school and even a handful of adults, started fishing skates out of trunks. There were no uniforms, but if there were, you would have seen some Princeton Youth Hockey and Princeton Tiger Lilies jerseys, some Lawrence Flames and New Jersey Rockets jerseys.
Each of the 35 skaters who took the ice on Sunday afternoon had already done some leg work before arriving, asking for pledges from friends, family and neighbors for each lap skated. With the business of collecting pledges out of the way, the skaters were primed to do what they do best – skate. And skate they did, for a solid hour, many of them after having played hockey earlier in the day with their teams. Collectively, over 3300 laps were skated, with the highest individual skater racking up an impressive 192 laps.
In the days and weeks following the skate, each of the skaters went back to their pledged supporters and collected the donations. When all of the donations were received, a staggering $13,867 was raised and donated to the American Red Cross, earmarked for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.
“350,000 people in Puerto Rico have registered with the government for help,” said Leslie Pell, the event organizer and mother of Princeton Youth Hockey 16U AA player Gibson Linnehan. “Each skater on the ice last night was skating to help 10,000 people, one lap at a time.”