Below is a letter received on 1/13/2021 asking for the support of the Western New York Hockey Community (Travel, Girls, House/Recreational) for a lawsuit to change the status of hockey to a moderate risk sport and allow games. NYSAHA is also filing a lawsuit to allow hockey to return and the letter announcing this can be found on the NYSAHA website at https://www.nysaha.com/
A Go Fund Me page has been setup to support the efforts being led by Western New York Hockey organizations/leagues:
As everyone is aware, the restaurants in Orange MicroCluster areas in Western New York were recently awarded injunctive relief to re-open via a similar lawsuit.
Dear WNYAHL Members,
This is an exciting, unprecedented time for the league. No one thought almost a year after COVID-19 hit that we still would not be playing hockey games in NY. As you are aware, this league has been in the forefront of trying to bring games back to the WNY Area and the league for months. Through the emails I sent, along with speaking with many of you directly, you all are aware the law firm of HoganWillig has been retained. We were hoping to have a lawsuit filed last week, however, putting a good case together takes time. Since retaining the law firm, Scholastic sports and two other entities have come into the picture: The Coalition of Hockey Venues and NYSAHA. All entities are using the law firm of HoganWillig for their cases. With so much information on social media, this may be confusing some of you and your membership. I will attempt to clarify some aspects in this email.
I truly believe all entities feel that the game can be played safely with proper protocols in place or we wouldn’t be pursing a lawsuit. Each entity is filing a separate and distinct lawsuits from each other because our requirements differ. Basically, the way it was stated to us is that the Coalition of Hockey Venues is for the rink owners specifically suing for the impact on their business. NYSAHA is for districts championships, player development etc., and the WNYAHL is for league play in its entirety with its constituent members. There is much more details going into each case obviously and the actual focus may be slightly different. It is a work in progress.
The ask is not the same for each case. Thus, the approach for the WNYAHL is distinct from the others. We are a community of associations, with teams comprised of participants from 23 different counties, offering a full-service league at every age level all-inclusive for both girls and youth teams. We have a fantastic board of directors with a proven record of strict oversight and due diligence in all aspects of the league. We have appointed Gretchen Mullen as our Covid-19 compliance officer, her medical background and expertise is invaluable in this regard. You, as members of the league are active and involved in the operations of the league. We have the capabilities and technology if needed to track pretty much anything if we are required to do so. We have all aspects in place and are ready to go.
When NYSAHA announced on Wednesday that they have now retained HoganWillig to file a lawsuit on their behalf, they noted that there would not be a fee charged to the member programs of NYSAHA. This primarily is because they do not need to collect any funding from you. They have your money already with the $8.00 fee added on to every paid person that registers with USAH from NY. With approximately 55,000 players and coaches registering in a non covid-19 season and about 40,000 this season at $8 per person – do the math. They have the fees for an attorney.
The WNYAHL does not add any extra individual fees to any of our members upon registration. Team fees collected are put back into events for the kids such as playoffs, championships, trophies, hats, medals, and putting on a grand event at the end of the season. Because this league is community based, we rely on the associations to assist when needed. You are all tremendous people giving of your time and energy for the kids that play this game. I am asking you to keep fighting for them, our area, and our league and I and this board will be standing with you. Our kids deserve all our efforts and with your support we can and will achieve the goal of getting the game back.
We have had some very generous benefactors who already have stepped up with financial support, but we need everyone and that is why a gofundme page was set up. I ask all of you for your continued support and help to keep the fight going. We must stay strong and unite our efforts. Please share this information with all your teams, parents, coaches, administrators. We have to make a strong push to save what remains of the season. While we compete on the ice, we are family off of it and together we will make a difference. This is who we are.
A Gofundme page has been set up for donations the direct link is https://gofund.me/1687c571 or see the info below this email.
Checks can be made payable to WNYAHL with the subject line “lawsuit” and sent to
Gretchen Mullen Treasurer WNYAHL
36 S. Huxley Dr.
Cheektowaga NY 14225
Many Thanks, and remember if you cannot contribute financially, we understand, But we still need your support by helping us spread the word.
Western New York Hockey would like you to support Bring the game back #Letthemplay Hockey WNY by making a donation and spreading the word.
For 10 months the kids in WNY have not been allowed to play a single hockey game in NY State. Please consider helping the WNYAHL continue the fight for our kids and bring games back in NY by making a contribution. Together we will triumph!
About this fundraiser
#Let kids play NY
“Our kids have been through too much in the past year already, and sports is the only outlet some of them have during normal times, which is why this is so important for them. I hope that we can get this back and give them something...
What is GoFundMe?
GoFundMe is the world’s largest free social fundraising platform and has helped millions raise over $5 billion for the people and causes they care about.