Pucks for Autism hockey tournament raises $125K for new adaptive playground

  • Pucks for Autism event in Vernon Hills raised money for Special Education District of Lake County Foundation. Anthony Beese, second from left, participated in an honorary puck drop with Guardians player Sarah Kohler, left, and Baltimore Chiefs' Dave Johnston, right.

    Pucks for Autism event in Vernon Hills raised money for Special Education District of Lake County Foundation. Anthony Beese, second from left, participated in an honorary puck drop with Guardians player Sarah Kohler, left, and Baltimore Chiefs' Dave Johnston, right. Courtesy of Pucks for Autism

  • Anthony Beese, center, has his photo taken with the Guardians during the Pucks for Autism event at Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills.

    Anthony Beese, center, has his photo taken with the Guardians during the Pucks for Autism event at Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills. Courtesy of Pucks for Autism

 
 
Posted7/16/2021 6:00 AM

Hockey players with every skill set hit the ice last month to help those impacted by autism.

Members of the Waukegan Firefighters Local 473 participated in the Pucks for Autism event at Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills. Money raised from the hockey tournament went to Special Education District of Lake County Foundation.
Members of the Waukegan Firefighters Local 473 participated in the Pucks for Autism event at Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills. Money raised from the hockey tournament went to Special Education District of Lake County Foundation. - Courtesy of Pucks for Autism

More than 650 players participated in the Pucks for Autism event held at Glacier Ice Arena in Vernon Hills. Fifty-eight teams played in the three-day hockey tournament held June 25-27. Proceeds from the sixth annual event benefit the Special Education District of Lake County Foundation.

Shawn Pfeiffer, founder of Pucks for Autism, said they raised more than $125,000.

In addition to the fundraising component, Pfeiffer said the event raises awareness for those affected by autism. Players and officials wore autism-themed jerseys and honorary puck drop participants were featured.

More than 650 hockey players participated in the Pucks for Autism event last month in Vernon Hills.
More than 650 hockey players participated in the Pucks for Autism event last month in Vernon Hills. - Courtesy of Pucks for Autism

"The equipment, programs and therapies needed to support children and young adults on the autism spectrum is very expensive," Pfeiffer said.

"The fundraising dollars we raise directly go back into the community to help fund these items to help provide these students the support they need in the classroom."

A majority of the fundraising dollars from Pucks for Autism will be used to build a playground at Fairhaven School in Mundelein.

"Fairhaven School is a therapeutic day school that supports children on the autism spectrum from early education to transition," Pfeiffer said.

"The playground will feature adaptive playground equipment to help accommodate (them)."

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