Generosity off the ice: Hockey Association receives random act of kindnessPublished 9:11am Tuesday, September 10, 2013
A trip to the store led to more than just a good deal for one area hockey mom.
Liz Niblock just needed a few groceries when she walked into an area store last week. While walking around the store, Niblock noticed a sale had greatly reduced the price of new hockey equipment.
As an active mom with the Fergus Falls Hockey Association, Niblock couldn’t let the buy go to waste.
With the idea to use the skates and other equipment on loan to allow more kids to use the Community Arena, Niblock loaded up her cart.
“What our goal was is to get skate for the kids we bring over from Cleveland,” Niblock said. “We do a program where they come down twice a year. When the kids come over we like to provide them with equipment. The goal is to get the kids into the arena so they can see what is there so they can come back with their friends and family. And to just get them exposed to skating.”
Niblock, who has had three children play hockey in Fergus, was ready to load the large number of boxes in her van and leave. But while she was checking out, the large purchase caught the eye of a shopper in the store.
“This gentlemen is kind of walking around, not saying a whole lot, and he came over and asked what I was looking at the skates for,” Niblock said. “I explained the program to him and he was a huge hockey fan. He’s retired from the area and we talked about his children playing high school hockey in the cities … Here the gentleman walked back and had his credit card out and said he’d like to buy these for us.”
Out of his love of the sport, a random shopper became a major donor to the hockey association. Handing a credit card over for the purchase, the donor, Alan Harder and his wife Muggsy, paid for $2,000 worth of equipment, which included 19 pairs of skates.
That gift has longevity as well.
“It’s huge. For us, it is a huge deal. The impact is very big. They aren’t just going to be used once,” Niblock said. “Year after year, this could be used for kids signing up to play hockey.”
The hockey helmets will be put out on loan for a nominal fee for those participating in the hockey association.
Of course, the generosity came as a surprise to Niblock. But it was the generous love for the game and what it brings to children one random encounter showed that had her in tears.
“I just went in for milk and juice,” Niblock said with a laugh.