To bring home the bacon, or the tofurky in my case, I work as the Health Care Service Coordinator for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). For those of you too young to remember Jerry Lewis, the MDA is non-profit organization that supports research and services for those living with neuromuscular diseases.
One of my pals at the MDA is Jonathan Gresson. Jonathan is the founder of the North Carolina Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association (NCEWHA) and the Carolina Fury PowerHockey™ Team. Jonathan is 28 years old and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. As a child, he fell in love with hockey. It became a sport that despite his disability, he could still play in his backyard.
Greeson created the NCEWHA in 2003 with the mission of developing a quality hockey program for people in North Carolina who require the use of an electric wheelchair in their daily life. The NCEWHA helps get disabled people out of their homes and active in their community.
In March 2009, Jonathan and the Carolina Fury were honored by the Canes as they were given the privilege of sounding the Hurricane Warning Siren and, the best part, Jonathan was named Time Warner Cable’s Skater of the Game. Yeah, that’s right. He was able to spend two minutes on the ice next to Cam Ward during the pre-game ceremonies. Hey, Jealously.
“Being on the ice with Cam was a moment I will never forget. Goalies are all about their routine, but he still took a moment to stop and say a few words to me. I knew he was a great player, but he really became a role model for me at that moment. Because of my SMA progression, I had to give up my forward position and move to goalie last year. Having a great role model like Cam Ward made the transition really easy for me,” Gresson relects.
The Canes and Fury pair up once again on Saturday, March 19th as they will be renewing their rivalry with the Hurricanes office staff. These folks had intense contests in the past and Jonathan is expecting the same intensity this year.
“We have played the Canes staff for 3 years now. The first 2 were really close with the Fury winning in overtime. Last year’s game was just as intense, but the Fury won 4-1. We have been implementing a more defensive system over the past 2 years, so I’m thinking that helped us to the 4-1 win.”
The Carolina Fury will be hosting two exhibition games on March 19th. The first game will take place at 1:00pm, and the second with the Canes staff at 3:00pm. Doors will open at Noon and admission is $5.00. Ticket sales directly support the NCEWHA.
Support a terrific organization on Saturday, March 19th at Charles B. Aycock High School in Pikeville, North Carolina. I will be there cheering on the Fury! Perhaps, the only time I will root against the Hurricanes.
Unable to make the game? Please consider making a contribution to the NCEWHA at: http://ncpowerhockey.com/Donations.html
Tags: Cam Ward Canes Carolina Fury Carolina Hurricanes Chad LaRose Hurricane Warning Siren MDA Muscular Dystrophy Association NCEWHA PowerHockey Rod Brind'Amour SMA Time Warner Cable Skater Of The Game Wheelchair Hockey