PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — Last February, a charity hockey game between two Aquidneck Island rivals raised more than $3,500 for the Rhode Island Social Skills Academy – a nonprofit for adults with special needs – and its Robin’s Nest program.
The event returns to Portsmouth Abbey this Sunday and organizers hope to exceed last year’s fundraising total while continuing to raise awareness of the RISSA and the work they do.
“The Rhode Island Social Skills Academy is an organization that has a soft spot in my heart,” Portsmouth High School senior, team captain, and event organizer Maxwell Dooley said. “Having a younger brother with autism, I have a significant appreciation for education and support of life skills for special needs adults.”
Dooley and his fellow Patriots will take the ice at 2:30 p.m. for an exhibition game alongside players from the rival Rogers/Middletown/Rocky Hill Co-op.
The event also includes mini scrimmages between Newport Whalers youth teams as well as raffles, giveaways, a silent auction, games and other activities.
Entry is $5 and all proceeds go to RISSA and Robin’s Nest, a newly created program to help young adults with disabilities transition from school to new jobs and living arrangements by developing the social skills and confidence necessary for success.
“It’s a great organization helping out individuals with disabilities, and getting the community sponsorships to help support this fundraiser brings Aquidneck Island together in a unified front which we aim to teach our children in school,” PHS head coach and special educator Bryan Kriner said. “It’s a fantastic way to lead by example and pave the road for our future.”
Organizers are still accepting donations for prizes and giveaways. Any businesses or organizations interested in donating or sponsoring the event should contact Maxwell Dooley at email@example.com.