From the Editor's Desk: Skate to help Crystal Lake girl with pediatric cancer

’Tis the season of giving, and I learned Monday about a wonderful event happening Thursday that more than meets the spirit of Christmastime.

The Give Bonnie Strong 77 Foundation and the Crystal Lake Yellowjackets girls hockey program are hosting the third annual Bonnie V. All Girls Skate at the Crystal Ice House in Crystal Lake.

Jack Gilhooly of Give Bonnie Strong said the foundation began in 2014 in honor of Bonnie Vonder Haar, a 12-year-old Ingleside girl who died later that year after a battle with leukemia.

Vonder Haar was a member of the Youth-14 girls Yellowjacket team that plays at Crystal Ice House.

“The mission of the foundation is to provide financial assistance to other local families that have a child fighting pediatric cancer, as well as to help fund medical research,” Gilhooly said in an email informing me of the event.

The beneficiary of this year’s fundraiser will be none other than Crystal Lake’s Abby Greene, 7, who is battling an aggressive brain cancer known as intrinsic pontine glioma.

“We are also very excited to announce that in attendance at the All Girls Skate will be U.S. Women’s Hockey Olympians Kendall Coyne and Megan Bozek, who will provide coaching tips to the girls as well as photo opportunities with all in attendance,” Gilhooly said. “Abby will be doing the ceremonial puck drop with Kendall and Megan, and there will be a family open skate for everyone.”

Admission to the event is $20 a skater and $5 for spectators or anyone wishing to participate in the family open skate. Please bring your own skates.

Attendees also are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy that will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House, which hosts families of hospitalized children who are being treated for pediatric cancer and other ailments.

The event is from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Crystal Ice House, 320 Prairie St., Crystal Lake.

If you can’t make the fundraiser but want to donate or learn more about Abby and Bonnie, visit and

• Dan McCaleb is executive editor of the Northwest Herald. Email him at Follow him on Twitter

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