The hockey clubs at Oak Park and River Forest and Fenwick high schools will team up to fight hunger in the community through the Paul Hruby Cup Series, a three-game competition between the two teams spread over three months beginning Oct. 29 at Franklin Park Ice Arena. Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m.
“It was a collaboration between the Huskies and Fenwick,” said Chad Layton, who is a volunteer with the OPRF hockey club. “There’s been a friendly rivalry between the two clubs for some time, and we usually get good fan participation in these games. It just made sense to parlay that energy into something that raises awareness and money for a good cause.”
Hunger has become an issue for many families and individuals as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Layton believes that the timing is good for this endeavor, and it’s a cause that’s close to the players’ hearts.
“We’re really excited about it,” he said. “We’re working with the players themselves; they’re going to help distribute flyers around the community and to their friends and families to get as much support as we can for Beyond Hunger.”
Beyond Hunger is an Oak Park-based organization whose mission as stated on its website is “harnessing the power of communities to end hunger.” It provides hunger-relief programming and services not just to residents of Oak Park and River Forest, but also to several of Chicago’s West Side communities and other nearby suburbs.
The goal of Beyond Hunger is to not only provide groceries and cooking assistance, but also foster support for programs that can effectively provide help to those who are struggling in this economy.
“In these times, where there are a lot of challenges, to the extent that we can support this cause, we’re excited,” Layton said.
Named after Paul Hruby, who is considered a pioneer of Oak Park hockey and a member of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame, the best-of-three series will also have games Dec. 20 and Feb. 3 (if necessary) at The Edge in Bensenville, with the winner being awarded the cup. Proceeds from the series will go towards Beyond Hunger. Tickets are $5 for the opening game at Franklin Park.
Also, a percentage of orders at Kettlestrings Tavern or One Lake Brewing — both in Oak Park — goes towards the series and Beyond Hunger if OPRF or Fenwick hockey is mentioned at the time of the order. Ferrara Pan Fitness Factory, Reeg Plumbing and Segal McCambridge are the event sponsors.
For more information about Beyond Hunger, go to gobeyondhunger.org. Additional information on the Paul Hruby Cup can be found at oprfhockey.com/hrubycup. Donations may be made at app.mobilecause.com/vf/HrubyCup.