NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - It’s been 15 years since the death of Anthony Ford, a Mankato boy who was diagnosed with leukemia at age six and passed away at age nine.
His legacy lives on through the Anthony Ford Fund, which hosts the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic each year at Spring Lake Park in North Mankato.
On Tuesday, the Anthony Ford Fund made a $10,000 donation to the city, which will help fund maintenance and improvements on the rink where the tournament is played.
North Mankato city administrator John Harrenstein said the partnership with the Anthony Ford Fund continues to expand opportunities for kids in the community through youth hockey and parks and recreation.
“I just want to say how proud I am as a former resident of North Mankato,” Larry Wild, who helps run the tournament each year, said. “To look out on the Anthony Ford Rink and know that our committee had a big part in making it happen.”
Robin Ford, Anthony’s mom, says she’s grateful to be able to continuously honor Anthony, who loved hockey and befriended the MSU-Mankato Maverick hockey team after his diagnosis, through the Fund and the tournament.
“Not only a passion for hockey but for his community,” Ford said. “He loved people and he really thought everything about this community.”
The 2021 Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic was cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns. Organizers say they’re excited to be back in 2022.