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Hockey tournament this weekend to honor memory of Chazy student

CHAZY The community will come together once again this weekend to remember the life of a young man with a passion for the greatest game on ice. Chazy Youth Hockey will host the 2nd annual Nick LaPorte Memorial Hockey Tournament at Scotts Memorial Rink, 52 McAdam Road, this Friday, Feb, 29, through Sunday, March 2. Approximately 200 participants in three youth categories are scheduled to compete. The tournament will host a total of 16 teams including six Chazy Youth Hockey teams at the mite and squirt levels along with teams from Plattsburgh, Albany, Lake Placid, Malone, and Rutland and Montpelier in Vermont. The U12 girls division is a new addition to the tournament this year. The Plattsburgh/Chazy combined U12 girls team is host to three Vermont teams Essex, Rutland and St. Albans. Games were scheduled to begin Friday at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Woodsmen of the World Lodge 462 will sponsor a DNA Fingerprint ID program for children from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Representatives will be on site to process identification cards and answer questions. Each ID card holds the childs photo and thumbprint and shows the name and birth date of the child along with other vital information. There is no cost for the program, which is open to everyone regardless of participation in the tournament or affiliation with Chazy Youth Hockey. On Sunday, local author Annette Liem will autograph copies of her fantasy novel, Wrath: A Princes Piece, from 1-3 p.m. Ms. Liem, a sophomore at Plattsburgh High School, wrote the self-published book when she was 13 years old. Throughout the weekend there will be raffle prizes ranging from gift cards to hockey equipment to home goods to electronics. All items have been donated by area businesses. A silent auction will also be held during the weekend for two Club Desjardins tickets to the Montreal Canadiens game against the Islanders Saturday, March 15, which begins at 7 p.m. The person with the highest bid at the end of the tournament will receive the tickets. The winner does not need to be present to win. All participants receive a tournament T-shirt, participation award and tournament bag filled with items donated by area sponsors. In addition, a sportsmanship award will be presented at the end of the tournament. Nicholas Adam LaPorte, for whom the tournament is named, died unexpectedly from heart complications in 2006. Nick loved hockey and spent many hours at Scotts Memorial Rink. His passion for the game earned him the recognition of Most Improved Player his first year as a mite, and captain of his pee-wee team. His brother and sister shared the love he had for hockey and both continue to be actively involved in the program. For the LaPortes, the tournament represents a time of healing. Its not exactly what we want; wed rather have Nick here, but the tournament means so much to us because it has been bestowed upon us by people who understand our grief and walk our journey, Nicks mother and tournament director Debra LaPorte stated in a press release. Chazy Youth Hockey is no stranger to adversity. The rink is named in memory of two other former hockey players, Scott Andrew House and Scott Weber Wolter, who were both killed as the result of separate motor vehicle accidents more than 10 years ago. When Steve [Wolter, Scott Walters father] approached me last year about having the tournament, well, words cant really describe how it made me feel, said Nicks father, Michel LaPorte. Mr. LaPorte, like Steve Wolter, spends countless hours at the rink and continues to coach. I feel good here, I feel like Im making a difference, said Mr. LaPorte. Nothing will replace Nick in my heart, but being here at the rink is good for me. The tournament is a family affair with the LaPortes running the event and Nicks brother and sister skating at the mite and U12 level. Last year I didnt really think Id want to be here doing this, but this has helped a lot, having this time and space to remember and grieve for Nick openly, said Mrs. LaPorte. Its been good for our whole family to be part of the Chazy Youth Hockey family, they have been an invaluable resource of support. Chazy Youth Hockey currently serves 210 families, hosting multiple teams at all youth levels, including an initiation program, a U14 girls team and a Plattsburgh combined U12 girls team. The rink is home ice for the Beekmantown High School Eagles and is utilized by several adult leagues, school groups and the general public. Board members, coaches, team representatives and all other personnel are volunteers. The organization allows any child to play regardless of skill. For more information, contact Mrs. LaPorte at 420-9194 or via e-mail to debbilaporte@hotmail.com. Information may also be found on the hockey leagues Web site, www.usahockey.com/chazy_youth_hockey_i .

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