You are only truly gone if you are forgotten. We will never forget.
We know there are several important causes that deserve financial support, so we appreciate your commitment to our event which was created in memory of Jeffrey B. Scott – a beloved son, brother, friend and devoted hockey player.
I remember Jeff being very happy on the day he died. Jeff had practiced at SabreLand that morning and he had gotten to touch all of the Sabres’ jerseys. Not long after he got home from practice, Jeff was already making plans to play street hockey with his friends. The rest of that day is just a blur.
My brother Jeffrey died on March 27, 1982, at the age of 11 [see the article]. Jeffrey died from a ‘sudden cardiac death due to a lethal rhythm disturbance related to a congenital heart valve defect’ while playing street hockey with his friends.
Over the next twenty years the memories I had of my brother were slowly fading away. The Cheektowaga Recreation Center always had a small memorial to my brother that I would occasionally visit. It didn’t seem right that all the world had left of my brother was an old jersey and a faded picture. I did not want my brother to be gone or his memory forgotten.
On one of these visits, approaching the twentieth anniversary of his death, I decided to have a hockey tournament in memory of my brother. I wanted the tournament to be for 11 and 12 years olds; I wanted the tournament to be held at the Cheektowaga Rec Center; and most importantly, I wanted to help make a difference in the life of at least one child.
In some respects the Hockey tournament has taken on a life of its own. We now have a Friends, Family and Alumni Game before the Championship Game of the tournament. Many of the guys who play in this game were on the same Cheektowaga Warrior Team that Jeff was on way back in 1982. In addition to the Alumni Game, we also have a free open skate where old and young alike can lace 'em up and go!
It has amazed me to find so many people that had kept my brother’s memory alive. From Dave Miller who has become an invaluable co-organizer of the tournament, to my cousin Anthony Scarozza who has always kept a picture of my brother in his wallet.
What I have enjoyed most about the tournament are the living memories of my brother that are created every year:
On the final day of the tournament a few years ago everyone had left to get ready for the Friends, Family, & Alumni Game, closing ceremony, and Championship Game of the tournament except for me. A couple of young kids approached the table and were ogling the autographed sports memorabilia that was being raffled off. Very innocently one of the boys turned to me and asked, “Do you play hockey?” I told him, “No,” and after a short pause I added, “but my brother used to.” He waited a few moments and asked, “Does he still play?” I said, “No, my brother passed away a long time ago,” and after a moment added, “he was Jeffrey Scott.” As I said this I pointed to my brother’s name on top of the tournaments banner. The little boy’s eyes got real big and in an excited voice he exclaimed, “Jeffrey Scott was you brother! Wow!!”
Since the tournament's inception we have raised and donated over $181,000 to local charities! Thank you for your support!
Christopher J. Scott
Brother & Organizer