The Good Deed Report: One big check for hockey squirts

Christmas spirit alive and well in Edgartown.

From left, Nathan Averill, Vinny Paciello, Frankie Paciello and Preston Averill selling raffle tickets at the Vineyard Youth Hockey table. – Photo by Lynn Christoffers

“I was on assignment, taking photos of Christmas in Edgartown before the parade,” Times freelance photographer Lynn Christoffers wrote us on Monday morning. “I thought to take a few shots of the tables set up along Main Street. The hockey team caught my eye — the boys looked so cute with their matching purple hats and were diligently trying to make change to the steady stream of passersby who bought raffle tickets. I asked the mom in charge, Kim Averill, if I could take a photo of the boys selling, and she asked if I was with the newspaper, since a magical event just happened. She told me the story, almost in tears as she spoke.”

We got Kim Averill on the phone. She’s the mother of two of the youth hockey players, and retold the story.

“We were in front of Alchemy setting up before the parade,” she said. The parents and kids were selling raffle tickets to raise money to send two youth hockey ‘squirt’ teams to the Fire and Ice hockey tournament in Westfield over Martin Luther King weekend in January.

“A woman came over,” Kim continued, “and asked us what we were raising money for. We told her about the tournament.”

“How much do you need?” the woman asked Kim, who explained they needed $1,600 for two $800 entry fees.

“So, if you had the $1,600, you could go?” she asked, and Kim answered yes.

“Can I write you a check?” she continued. Kim said of course, assuming the woman was about to buy some raffle tickets.

“I want them to go,” the woman said to Kim, as she handed her a check for the entire $1,600. “Hockey was a big thing in my son’s life.”

“Wow!” The boys said as they realized what had happened.

“I found out,” Kim said, “that her son had passed away.”

Kim turned and saw that another mother working the booth, Lyra Paciello, had tears in her eyes.

The boys continued to sell their raffle tickets and raised enough money so that, along with the gift, some families who would not have been able to go are now able to. Traveling with the youth hockey teams is expensive for Island families, Kim said, given the boat travel and need to stay in hotel rooms for at least a night.

“If she’s reading this, I want her to know that one check affected 30 boys,” Kim said. “It’s incredible, what she did.”

The Good Deed Report is a feature intended to share random acts of kindness across the Island. If you know of any good deeds please share them with us by calling 508-693-6100 ext. 30 or emailing