The Griffins offer a sensory hockey game

The game will fill a void for a community that has gone through a tough time with the pandemic.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An upcoming Grand Rapids Griffins game is more important than most for a community that’s struggling to play, even when there isn’t an ongoing pandemic.

Drew Edgerton is Michigan’s ultimate sports fan. His two favorite teams are the Red Wings and the Griffins.

“Drew follows the Tigers. He follows the Red Wings. I don’t know why, but he follows the Lions,” said Betsy Edgerton, Drew’s mother.

His favorite player is Dylan Larkin, “because he’s a striker”, he says. A forward, just like Drew is at the Special Olympics.

But for fans like Drew, some aspects of the game aren’t as fun. Loud noises, lighting and masses of people can be overwhelming.

“You get too excited or too energized by the crowd,” Betsy said.

That’s why the Griffins change things for one night. It’s their very first sensory friendly match on February 26th.

“It’s a really welcoming environment,” Betsy said. “The lights are set to a level where everyone feels much more comfortable.”

“We won’t be honking during goals. There will be no pyrotechnics,” said Suzanne Wilcox, co-founder of Beer City Dog Biscuits.

The game will fill a void for a community that has gone through a tough time with the pandemic.

“It’s an opportunity for them to come back to life,” Betsy said. “So many of Drew’s friends, including Drew, don’t have cell phones and don’t have computers. And they remain isolated and alone.”

Staff at the non-profit Beer City Dog Biscuits wanted to make sure as many people as possible could enjoy this game. They partnered with the Red Glasses Movement and Huntington Bank to donate hundreds of tickets to people of different abilities.

“[It will provide] a community for individuals to participate,” Wilcox said, “to allow them to start participating in society and life again.

“This game is so important,” she said.

If you and your caregiver are interested in these free tickets, visit their site here.

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