By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A pond hockey event that started to honor the life of an Edina boy has grown in numbers and purpose.

Quinn Kirsch passed away in 2013 from a heart condition called myocarditis. He was just 8-years-old.

“When I picture his face, that’s exactly what I see, is the big smile with the green eyes,” said dad Kyle Kirsch.

quinn kirsch Hundreds Play For Quinns Cup, Celebrating 8 Year Olds Life, Love Of Hockey

Quinn Kirsch (credit: CBS)

For Kyle, his son’s green eyes fit right in with his Irish heritage. Quinn Kirsch loved his Edina hockey green, and when he died, family and friends made sure green balloons were a part of his memorial.

“This is what he loved to do. He loved playing hockey outside. We had a rink in our backyard so that’s what we loved to do,” Kyle said.

So it’s only fitting that five years ago, one of Quinn’s hockey coaches came up with the idea for Quinn’s Cup. It’s a January pond hockey event at Centennial Lakes. They had 20 teams the first year and about 150 kids. Little did they know that that would be the start of many puck drops.

quinns cup Hundreds Play For Quinns Cup, Celebrating 8 Year Olds Life, Love Of Hockey

(credit: CBS)

“We didn’t realize that on year five we’d be at 720 kids and 60 teams,” family friend Chris Rofidal said. “And the other thing that’s nice, is that this has built way outside of Edina. We have New Prague coming in and we have 14 teams from Minneapolis coming in.”

While the number of teams and players have grown over the years, so has the money raised for the Myocarditis Foundation. Thanks to sponsors and donors, they will surpass $100,000 this year.

“If it was a bad day he’d cheer you up. Always energetic and a great friend,” friend Joe Koler said.

Joe was one of Quinn’s best friends and pond hockey buddies. While he’s now too old to play in Quinn’s Cup, he still wouldn’t miss it for the world.

“It’s been a really fun experience for me and it’s great to help honor Quinn and help others with myocarditis,” Joe said.

“That’s one of my favorite parts of the day is when people will up to me knowing I’m Quinn’s dad or Kelly and say, ‘This was so much fun. We were glad we were part of the day,l” Kyle said.

The 5th annual Quinn’s Cup is for boys and girls, and it will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Centennial Lakes in Edina.

As always, there will be free food and music and variety of entertainment.

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