This Friday night West Haven Youth Hockey will be holding it’s 2nd annual Coach vs. Coach benefit game at Edward L. Bennett Rink in West Haven. This is a very special event for myself as the man the game is being played for, Tom “Tinker” Blake is my uncle.

Tinker, as he’s known around West Haven, was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy a year ago. All proceeds from the game Friday night will go to Massachusetts General Hospital for funding research of this disease. Tinker is under the care of Dr. Schmahmann, who is working on a cure. MSA is rare, progressive nuerodegenerative discorder which affects the autonomic nervous system and movement.

For many years Blake has been an active member of the West Haven community. He’s been a coach and board member for West Haven Youth Hockey and was also the president of the West Haven Penalty Box Club, the parent group that supports West Haven HIgh’s boys’ hockey team.

Among being emcee for various award dinners held in town, Tibnker also took time to provide his voice at West Haven High’s Fitzgerald Sports Complex, doing public adress announcing for various sports, a duty which he had prepared me for, and I now proudly announce for games.

Callan McKeon is a current coach for West Haven is running the event, which is his second. Last year’s game has for Paul Hothckiss, another West Haven coach who was diagnosed with brain cancer. Last year’s game raised $6,000 for Hothckiss.

The game is Friday night, February 6 and the doors will be open at 6:00pm and the puck drops at 7. Admission is $5 plus there will be numerous raffles. There will be a Chuck-a-Puck contest between the 1st and 2nd periods, a basket raffle will be held in the lobby, as well as a 50/50, and Rita’s Ice will be selling italian ice and half to the money they make will be donated.

Advance tickets are on sale at Edward L. Bennett Rink or buy emailing Lori Hunt at

All donations will go toward treatment and finding a cure for MSA. They will go to Dr. Schmahmann’s Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital.

If you can’t make it to the game but will still like to donate, you can do so by emailing Lori Hunt at the email provided above, forward any checks to West Haven Youth Hockey, c/o Lori Hunt, 56 Morrissey Lane, West Haven, CT, 06516.

You can donate directly to MassGeneral via their donation page online at or by sending a check to;
Massachusetts General Hospital
Development Office
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1310
Boston, MA, 02114

If writiing a check, please memo “In support of Dr. Schmahmann’s Laboratory” on the check, or else it will be directed to a general fund and not directed to Dr. Schmahmann.

On behalf of the Blake family, which is my family, I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support for Tom “Tinker” Blake.

Photo; Facebook

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