The following has been written and submitted by Maxwell Dooley – Portsmouth High School Senior, Boys Ice Hockey Team.

On Sunday, February 9th beginning at 2:30pm at the Portsmouth Abbey Ice Rink, PHS and RMR hockey players will come together and play in a mixed team island hockey game raising funds for The Rhode Island Social Skills Academy’s (RISSA) Robin’s Nest. PHS senior, Maxwell Dooley has organized this 2nd Annual Charity Hockey Exhibition Game fundraiser for this cause as his senior project. Last year’s debut event raised over $3,500 for the local organization. 

The Robin’s Nest/RISSA is a newly created program for young adults with disabilities transitioning from school into new jobs and possibly new living arrangements. This program was developed to help these young adults gain experience, knowledge, confidence, skills and awareness to be successful in their daily lives within their community and live a meaningful adult life. This non-profit organization offers programs that develop the social confidence and skills necessary for success. 

“The Rhode Island Social Skills Academy is an organization that has a soft spot in my heart. Having a younger brother with autism, I have a significant appreciation for education and support of life skills for special needs adults. I chose this for my senior project as I felt it was the perfect blend of two passions of mine, hockey and supporting individuals with special needs. I am looking forward to bringing many together for a fun and successful afternoon,” says PHS senior and a captain of the PHS hockey team, Maxwell Dooley. 

To create another successful fundraising event this year with aim to exceed last year’s fundraising total, Dooley has pulled together members of the PHS Hockey Boosters organization, PHS hockey head coach and Portsmouth Public Schools special educator, Bryan Kriner, as well as other PHS and Newport Whalers hockey families to organize an afternoon of community fun and entertainment while spreading awareness of RISSA’s mission. The event will include: ● Exhibition Game with PHS and RMR hockey players 

● Two mini scrimmages between Newport Whalers youth teams 

● Fundraising raffles, giveaways and silent auction prize items 

● Fun activities, games and prizes 

● Ceremonial puck drop for Robin’s Nest 

All proceeds raised at this charity game will be donated to RISSA/Robin’s Nest. Event entry is $5. 

Organizers thanked many generous local businesses that have sponsored the PHS hockey team and donated raffle prize items for the event. 

“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. It’s a fantastic way to lead by example and pave the road for our future” Coach Kriner explained. 

Organizers are still accepting prize and giveaway donations ahead of the February 9th exhibition hockey day. Businesses and organizations should contact Maxwell Dooley if interested in donating or sponsoring this event. 

“Seeing our local businesses support us in this fun and charitable event for the second year in a row is fantastic, and we are excited for another great turnout in community and fan support this year as well,” says Kriner. 


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