Playoff-Bound Aviators To Visit SUNY Downstate Med Center
By John Torenli
Winners of three straight games, and eight of their last nine, entering tonight’s showdown with visiting Danbury at the Aviator Sports Complex, Brooklyn’s lone professional hockey club will be making a very special visit to East Flatbush on Monday afternoon.
The Brooklyn Aviators, second-year members of the Federal Hockey League, are heating up just as the playoffs approach, but they’ll take time out of their hectic travel and practice schedules to do a good deed in our fair borough when they visit children at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush.
“This is our second year going back to SUNY Downstate as an organization, and we loved it. Knowing that we can put smiles on these kids’ faces means the world to us,” said Aviators team president and head coach Rob Miller.
The event will take place at the hospital, located at 445 Lenox Road, Friday at 1:30 p.m.
“Last year several hockey players from the Brooklyn Aviators, along with Ace, their mascot, came out to SUNY Downstate to visit kids in the pediatric department,” said Sandy Dell, the director of marketing for University Physicians of Brooklyn at the medical center.
“It was an astounding success due to the players themselves, who sat with the kids and talked and laughed and played games for several hours.”
Players will be taking photos with the kids and other staff personnel, while visiting both playrooms and individual patients at the hospital.
“The Aviators really cared about these kids and the kids just loved them,” Dell added. “Everyone wanted to have their picture taken with the players and Ace. ... The players are coming back again and not only are the kids anticipating it, even the doctors and staff are looking forward to their visit.”
In addition to their annual visit, the Aviators will team with the facility to sponsor “Downstate Night with the Brooklyn Aviators” on March 3.
Downstate sports medicine doctors, William Urban and Justin Classie, are also the team doctors for the Aviators, and will be on hand that evening when Brooklyn hosts rival New Jersey at the Aviator arena.