The Orchard Park High School varsity hockey team celebrated the season by adopting an Alden family with four children who have been coping with the cancer diagnosis of their 7-year-old son, TJ. Team families and 80 players worked with the Comforting Hugs Foundation to shop for things on the children’s lists for Santa, from an Easy-Bake oven and Barbies to Legos.
At Friday’s game against Clarence High School, the team invited the family to come by limousine and eat at Duff’s before TJ dropped the puck to the start the game and get an early of present a Wii game system he asked for. The rest of the presents will be under the family’s tree next week.
Holiday community service is tradition and this year’s volunteer project with the family was more substantial than most, said Derek Gilham, the varsity hockey coach.
“It’s an important part of school, to be part of the team and do things for other people,” he said.
• The Village of Orchard Park Board meets at 7 p.m. Monday, court room, Municipal Center, 4295 South Buffalo St.
• The Orchard Park Trails Task Force at 6 p.m. Tuesday, lobby conference room, Municipal Center.
• The Orchard Park Municipal Center and all town officies will be closed for the Christmas holidays Wednesday and Thursday.