Boston Bruins Alumni to host annual benefit game at Sullivan Arena Feb. 8

Anna Boris, Crier Staff

The Boston Bruins Alumni will be hosting an event at Sullivan Arena on February 8th in order to fundraise for the Crotched Mountain’s Accessible Recreation and Sports (CMARS) program, which teaches people with disabilities to participate in sports such as hockey, kayaking, and cycling.

This will be their fifth year holding this event. At this event, 13-14 former Boston Bruins players will face off against the Crotched Mountain Wild—a team made up of employees and volunteers of the organization.

This event began by chance, when Geoffrey Garfinkle, director of Therapeutic Recreation at Crotched Mountain, won an auction allowing him to watch a Bruins game in the Alumni Box with Bruins Legend Rick Middleton.

During the game, Middleton discussed how the Bruins Alumni Organization ran benefit games in order to help nonprofits raise money for their causes. Garfinkle saw this as a great opportunity to help his organization and planned the event in 2011.

At the first event, the venue was not large enough and sold out quickly. The following year, Garfinkle moved the event to Sullivan Arena at Saint Anselm College, which was much more fitting for the event.

“We wanted to host it fairly close to where we operate, but also have a venue that is sizable enough to accommodate the sizable crowd we have coming in,” said Garfinkle.

“Also, Saint Anselm’s facility has so many accessibility features. Being an organization that serves people with disabilities, we want to make sure that constituency is well accommodated.”

With the new venue, the event took on a life of it’s own. To raise money, each Crotched Mountain player must fundraise in order to take part in the event. Sponsors buy advertisements in the Bruins’ program, which brings in the largest amount of money.

“We’re hoping to raise about $30,000 with this event,” said Garfinkle. “We’ll use these funds to subsidize the sport and recreation opportunities that are in place, to acquire specialized equipment, and to train volunteers.”

The Bruins Alumni Association enjoys playing in fundraising events, scheduling between 30 and 35 events each year.

“There’s so much need out there and so many good causes that we’re just fortunate that we do what we do and we’re able to help 30 or more different causes each year,” said Middleton.

During events, Bruins legends will sign autographs between periods and sports memorabilia will be raffled off.

Each year the Crotched Mountain event has grown larger and larger, which ultimately means that more funds are being raised for the organization.

A new element that is being added to the event this year is that Megan Cooley, Miss New Hampshire 2014, will be singing the National Anthem. She has been volunteering for the Crotched Mountain program and the ski area recently.

“It was exciting to not only have her participate in the event itself, but also to get right out there with our participants to see what it is that we all do,” said Garfinkle.

The event will start at 1:00, and tickets will be sold for 10 dollars each both at the door and at For reserved seating, tickets will cost 40 dollars per person. To reserve these seats please call 603-547-1486.