Sterling youth honored at Spirit game

Adams treated to fun night


SAGINAW -- When the Saginaw Spirit took on the Sarnia Sting Saturday night, 12-year-old Sterling youth Tyler Adams, who suffered a tragic accident in an August boating trip causing the loss of his foot, was treated to several events preceding and during the game, sponsored by the Spirit, Michigan Orthopedics Services and the Saginaw City Police Force.

According to Adams' family friend Jody Wilk, she contacted Police Officers Association of Michigan Vice President Dan Kuhn to inquire about help for the benefit dinner she's hosting March 21 and he ran with the idea.

"He talked with some of his connections in the Saginaw police and they worked out this thing with the Spirit," Wilk said.

She says to begin the evening, a limosine was sent to Adams' home in Sterling to pick him and his father, Scott, up at 3:30 p.m.

"This wasn't my first time in limo," Tyler said. "It was still fun though."

Then, Wilk says, the two were taken to dinner at Jake's before arriving at Civic Arena.

"They (Adams) were taken on a tour of the facility and locker room," Wilk said. "Then the team presented Tyler with a jersey with his name on it."

"They (players) gave me a team jersey," Tyler said. "It's pretty cool...number 09."

Wilkins says after receiving his jersey, Tyler and Scott were escorted to the Blue Line Club, a VIP lounge that had a band and was addressed by the Spirit's coach before the game concerning strategy among other things.

Next, Tyler was presented with a donation in the form of a cutting-edge top of the line prostetic specialized for sports.

"Before that they were showing different kinds of (prostetic) feet," Tyler said. "They encouraged me to try them. I still have to go for the fitting."

Immediately before the game began, the Spirit allowed Tyler to take part in the ceremonial puck-drop, hockey's version of the ceremonial first pitch, says Wilk. The last, but not least, bit of fun for Tyler came after the first period when he rode in the zamboni as it cleared the ice for the second period.

"That was my favorite part," Tyler said, adding the puck-drop was his second favorite part of the trip.

"It was definately a fun night for Tyler," Wilk said. "Even though the Spirit lost (in overtime, earning them one point), that put them into the playoffs, so it was pretty exciting.

"I really want to thank all the people who helped do this for Tyler, including Scott (Baranek, Certified Prostesis) and Dennis (Durco, President/CEO) from Michigan Orthopedics."

Wilk also says she, along with others, is hosting a benefit chicken dinner on behalf of Tyler on March 21 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Standish.

"Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and you can pick them up at Jay's Fruit Market, Sunrise Motors and New Dimensions Real Estate in Standish; and the Country Diner in Sterling," Wilk said, adding Jim and Tracy Mosciski and Dick and Phyllis Klender are catering the benefit.

There will also be a silent auction, bake sale and other "special" presentations," which Wilk says are a surprise.

"There's lots of exciting donations for the auction," Wilk said. "We've (benefit) got a Nintendo Wii; a one-night stay at the Soaring Eagle Resort in Mount Pleasant; autographed paraphenalia from NASCAR drivers Jimmy Johnson and Kasey Kahne and from Red Wing Andreas Lilja; lots of homemade crafts and other items.

"Tyler played baseball with my nephew the past several years and knowing the summer is coming up and him maybe not being able to continue to do what he used to, he needs to have money to afford future (technologies) that can help him do the things he used to. I want to help prepare him for the future. There advancement in medicine is always advancing and he'll need resources someday to be able to use these things."

Scott Adams says he appreciates and wants to thank the people who were involved with helping out with the Spirit events and the benefit dinner upcoming.


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