9–year–old Anthony Ford may have passed away 6 years ago to cancer, but mother Robin Ford says his spirit lives on through events like this. Ford says, "It's so much fun to see all these people out here skating."
Here at the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Tournament today is all about honoring Anthony, by playing his favorite sport. Ford says, "Oh my gosh he would think this is the coolest thing ever he'd be, he'd probably be out playing himself if he could."
In the past five years, the hockey tournament has raised over $50,000 for therapeutic advances against childhood leukemia and youth hockey scholarships. Volunteer Larry Wild says, "We've got every rink is pretty much busy from 10 in the morning till 3 or 4 in the afternoon."
Last year's unusually warm weather kept tournament off the ice last year. Larry Wild says, "We used to plow snow to make the rinks and this year there is no snow."
But the small amount of snow didn't stop volunteers this year. It gave them motivation to invest even more into event and buy boards to use as barriers around the rinks. Wild says, "We really want to take it up to the next level and have it continue."
Wild says they hope to someday make this a two–day tournament. And with impressive support from the community, it may not be long before that goal becomes a reality. Ford says, "A lot of these people knew Anthony and they really want to keep this tradition going."
But until then Ford's taking it one day at a time enjoying the weather and remembering her only son.