Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MAPLEWOOD (WCCO) – Catholic Schools across the metro are raising money to help Jack Jablonski’s family. It’s just a small part of the overwhelming support schools are showing for the hockey player who was recently paralyzed.
Jack went to Benilde-St. Margaret’s, but his presence was felt everywhere at Hill Murray High School in Maplewood Friday. Brandon Thompsona, a hockey player, put Jablonski’s name over a #13 jersey he had in his closet.
“He can’t play again. Everyone’s stepping up to make sure he feels like he’s a part of the community, a part of the team,” said Thompson.
Students wore Benilde-St. Margaret’s colors, wrote Jack cards and raised money. In fact, $17,000 was collected in home room classes in just a week.
Jack is also getting support from Hill Murray on the ice as well. Their assistant coach was also paralyzed while playing hockey.
“A puck was thrown into my corner and I went after it,” said Pat Schafhauser.
It’s a play Schafhauser said he sees in nearly every game he coaches. He tripped, lost his balance and ended up head first into the boards.
“That was the end of that part of my life,” said Schafhauser.
Schafhauser’s life didn’t end, however, and that’s what he thinks Jack will need to focus on — that and hockey.
“That discipline and that desire will help Jack,” said Schafhauser. “He’s still Jack Jablonski and he’s still in there and he needs to feel that from them.”
Academy of Holy Angels also raised around $3,000 just on Friday.
Cretin-Derham Hall will be collecting donations at its boys’ basketball game Friday night. Totino Grace will start its campaign Monday.
Update: Friday night, the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team announced it is helping raise money for the Jack Jablonski Fund at Saturday night’s U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.