Teddy Balkind

Community Honors Fallen Hockey Player With ‘Teddies 4 Teddy'

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Connecticut's hockey community is coming together to honor one of their own. Teddy Balkind passed away earlier this month after succumbing to an injury during a hockey game.

Amy Grabine wanted to honor Balkind by coming up with an idea to carry his legacy and give back to those in need. Grabine came up with 'Teddies 4 Teddy' where she, along with other volunteers, will collect teddy bears every home game at the Terry Conners Rink during January and will donate them to a child in need.

"We felt like this was a good way to keep Teddy's memory alive and this is one way we can honor him for years," said Grabine. "The hockey community is like one big huge, giant family and especially when something like this happens, a tragedy like this everyone comes together.”

Teddy, a student from St. Luke's School in New Canaan, was cut on the neck by the skate of another player during a game, school officials and police said. He was rushed to the hospital but later died from his injury.

Since the accident, Teddy's family, St. Luke and his teammates have received support from the National Hockey League, professional players and the community.

The hockey community across the country is still grappling with the tragic death of high school hockey player Teddy Balkind and one of his friends is pushing to require neck guards for youth hockey.

"We as a hockey community are a close family and seeing everyone come out is great," said Liz Ligi, who donated a teddy bear on Saturday night. "We just wanted to support Teddy's family and help a child at the same time."

If you would like to donate this month, 'Teddies 4 Teddy' will collect teddy bears on Jan. 22, 26 and 29.

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