Chester County Skating Club party to benefit Eric Dreisbach

Photo courtesy of Wheels for Eric The Chester County Skating Club’s annual end of the year party fundraiser will benefit 18-year-old Eric Dreisbach as his family tries to raise money for a wheelchair accessible van.

With March now here and the weather supposed to be turning warming, the Chester County Skating Club is holding its end-of-the-year party and fundraiser March 8, this time benefitting 18-year-old Eric Dreisbach.

“His family is a member of the club,” said Dan Hearn, the fundraising chairman of the club. “The Dreisbach family have been members one way or another for the last 30 years. [Dreisbach’s] father and brother have grown up playing in the club.”

Dreisbach has cerebral palsy and just recently received his first motorized wheelchair and now, in order to transport him places, he needs a wheelchair accessible van to accommodate the new motorized wheelchair.

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That’s where the fundraiser comes in.

“It’s a chance for the club to raise money for a very worthy cause and at the same time, have some real fun in the process,” Hearn said in a press release. “It’s also a chance for the community to check out our rink and get some information on our figure skating and ice hockey programs.”

As part of the fundraising efforts, the party will feature games such as broom ball, puck shooting contests, frozen turkey bowling with an actual frozen turkey, chuck-a-puck and relay races.

For people who want to be sponsored for the event, there is a skate-a-thon, where participants can get sponsored for each lap or mile they skate or just get one set amount.

“We’re trying to increase the family involvement above and beyond the kids just skating,” Hearn said. “We’re going to do some fun games as well.”

There will also be target shooting on a goaltender, and not just any guy dressed in pads with a glove and mask.

“We’re having a goalie who is one of our coaches who comes in and works with our goalies on the hockey teams,” Hearn said. “He’s pretty good. He played for the Hershey Bears.”

The Bears, of course, being the AHL minor-league affiliate of the Washington Capitals.

“Kids are going to try their luck on scoring on him,” Hearn said. “And parents also, for that matter.”

Some prizes, such as T-shirts, will be given for winners of certain games and a gift certificate for Total Hockey will be awarded for the skate-a-thon.

Those who do not wish to step onto the ice won’t be bored as the evening also features a silent auction, live music from the Eric Ashlar Blues Band and a pig roast.

“The baskets [for the silent auction] are awesome,” Hearn said. “We have about 18 different baskets with different themes, like the beach and off to college.”

All proceeds from the evening will go directly to the Wheels for Eric Foundation, which has currently raised a third of what is needed for the new van.

Anyone who wishes to take part in the festivities on ice must bring their own ice skates. The rink does not offer rentals.

In past years, the club’s annual party has helped raise money for Abby Miller Foundation and the Kennett Food Cupboard.

The fundraiser will be held at the John M. Cleveland Ice Rink on the campus of Upland Country Day School in Kennett Square from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

People who wish to donate to Dreisbach and the Wheels for Eric fund but don’t want to or can’t attend the party can go onto www.gofundme.com and put Wheels for Eric in the search box.

About the Author

Candice Monhollan

Candice Monhollan is a 2012 Temple University graduate. She loves to cover sports, especially hockey. She enjoys marching with the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps and has a love of U.S. military history, which includes reenacting. Reach the author at cmonhollan@dailylocal.com .