A special gift for an extraordinary young man


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Robert Bradley was presented with a para-ice hockey sled Thursday at the Amarillo Ice Ranch. [Larissa Liska/ NewsChannel10 Sports]

Robert Bradley is a fixture at Amarillo Bulls hockey games. It’s hard to miss Robert: his excitement, his passion and love for hockey is a staple among fans in the community. As a 9-year-old, Robert is filled with joy, love, positive energy and passion for the game that he loves. Robert suffers from hypotonia, autism, developmental delay disorder and communicates via sign language. With a little help from his friends, these challenges in Robert’s life do not stop him from participating in the sport that he truly cherishes.

On Thursday, at the Amarillo Ice Ranch, Robert with his parents, Chris and Kayla, were presented with a gift that will enrich his life and allow him to participate in sports. As a result of the vision and determination of Debi Lea, Robert was presented with a para-ice hockey sled. Funds raised by the Jim Lea Golf Memorial Tournament (Debi Lea’s late father) and The Maverick Boys and Girls Club along with The Maverick Alumni Association made Lea’s vision a reality. In a touching and emotional presentation, Robert’s reaction transcended any verbal restriction he might have. Bo Prell, a family friend, painstakingly and for over eight hours assembled the Mobility Sports Para Ice Hockey Sled. Mobility Sports is an independent manufacture committed to developing, fabricating and delivering custom sports related equipment to the physically challenged. In an emotional exchange between Bo and Robert words were not necessary and tears of gratitude were shared. The unconditional expression of appreciation Robert was able to share with Debi Lea left all at the Amarillo Ice Ranch filled with joy.

Under the guidance of Eric Andersen (part owner of the Amarillo Wranglers and President of the Amarillo Ice Ranch), Robert took to the ice like he does everything else in his life – with passion, joy and determination. There was not a dry eye in the house at the Amarillo Ice Ranch on this glorious day. Andersen also shared that the Amarillo Wranglers will be donating an Amarillo Wranglers customized helmet to Robert. The Amarillo Ice Ranch, in partnership with the ownership group of the Amarillo Wranglers, will be initiating an effort to secure more of these para-ice hockey sleds in the future. Robert has also been awarded

a grant from Our Military Kids Charity Organization to help with hockey expenses. Our Military Kids supports military children (ages 3 – 18) by funding sports, arts, and other extracurricular activities.

With true Community effort, a dream was realized for a very special young man on Thursday at the Amarillo Ice Ranch. Everyone involved has impacted Roberts life in an important and meaningful way. God bless Robert and his family and God bless all involved on that glorious day at the Amarillo Ice Ranch.

Editor’s note: Please look for Tommy Tee’s weekly column that bring a unique perspective on the Amarillo Wranglers during the hockey season.

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