The third annual Sam Spady Charity Hockey Game was held Saturday night at the EPIC center in Fort Collins to raise alcohol awareness and money for the Sam Spady Foundation and RamRide.
The event was originally started in 2006 when hockey player Joe Sharrock ran into a firefighter who was one of the first on the scene of Spady’s death and decided the team wanted to do something in her honor. Spady, a 19-year-old CSU student, died of alcohol poisoning in 2004.
“I was looking for a way for the team to give back to the community. I was looking for something more for the team to do than just be good on the ice. I wanted the team to get more involved in the community,” Sharrock said.
The Sam Spady Foundation was started after her death to raise alcohol awareness and to try to prevent the same sort of tragedy from happening again.
“The foundation uses this event as a way to bring awareness to the effects of alcohol and alcohol poisoning,” said Patrick Love Captain of Public Affairs & Education with the Poudre Fire Authority. “It is a huge problem in our community and in all communities and we want to prevent something like Samantha’s death from ever happening again.”
The hockey game is hosted by the CSU hockey team, the Poudre Fire Authority, Fort Collins Police Services and CSU. The game is between the Poudre Fire Authority Firefighters and local police, with CSU students helping out on both teams.
“It’s a really good charity, and we want to show our commitment to our school and our community,” CSU hockey player Adam Havens said. “This is a great way to give back to the university.”
At the game everyone entering was handed literature with information about how to diagnose alcohol poisoning. The symptoms on the card included:
/ Unconscious or semiconscious
/ Breathing less than 10 times per minute or breathing irregularly
/ Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
/ Cannot be awakened by pinching, prodding, or shouting
/ Vomiting without waking up
“Not only alcohol abuse but substance abuse is so easily available. We see a lot of cases where people just didn’t make good decisions, and I think if people were more aware of when and how to help each other it will be helpful,” said Terri Hergenreder, from the Poudre Valley Fire Department.
The money raised will go to RamRide.
“We tying all of this back to the university and the community by getting people involved,” Sharrock said.
According to the foundation Web site, binge drinking kills more than 1,400 college students each year.
“This event is a good community awareness event so that people learn to drink responsibly and look out for each other,” said CSU hockey player Mike Saint.
This year’s game was bigger than it has been in the past, with around 350 tickets being sold.
“I thought this would be a great message to the players on the team as well as the community,” Sharrock said. “Everyone jokes about drinking but when students get involved it brings the importance of being smart when you’re having fun to reality.”
Staff writer Jessica Cline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.