Kilmarnock Storm’s Ross Andreucci is planning to repeat a successful charity ice hockey match as another ‘thank you’ to the Crosshouse Hospital Neonatal Unit.
The former Paisley Pirates forward’s daughter Millie received vital life-saving care and treatment at Crosshouse in the months after she was born and Andreucci wants to support the unit’s work.
He arranged a charity game at Ayr Ice Rink last November and the event raised an astonishing £5,400, which was split between Crosshouse and Yorkhill Hospital where Millie was also cared for.
Andreucci is now organising another game at the rink on Sunday, 18th June, which he hopes will receive similar backing from the Scottish ice hockey community.
The aim is to raise enough money to buy a specially heated twin cot to Crosshouse, which will enable them to keep very young and unwell babies in optimum conditions and aid their recovery.
“Last year the response was quite incredible,” said Andreucci.
“Players were queueing up to play in the game, and so many other folk helped by selling tickets, organising the likes of raffles and auctions, and generally making sure that the money kept rolling in, and it did.
“People I didn’t even know came forward, and we raised a far bigger sum of money than I ever envisaged.
“It was quite a humbling experience also to see so many folk help contribute and make the event an outstanding success, and that’s really what has encouraged me to go for another match this year.
“The response from players has been at least as enthusiastic as last year, with my phone going constantly with requests to play.
“It’s out of season for ice hockey fans, but I’m hoping that with supporters not having seen a game for a couple of months they’ll come out in force to be part of something very special.
“I’ve already had offers from people prepared to do a programme, so there will be opportunities for individuals wanting to sponsor pages and take out adverts.
“People are going to bake cakes, take stalls, and generally help with the 101 pieces of the jigsaw which need to fit to ensure everything goes ahead.
“Even at this early stage I’m confident we can build on last year’s event to make this one even better.
“I’m still looking for player volunteers and folk prepared to help behind the scenes. If they haven’t already been in touch with me they can do so via my Facebook page, or the ‘Millie’s Miracle’ page which has been set up.
“It promises to be an afternoon to remember and I hope as many people as possible will come forward and be part of something special.”