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Bank Program Helps Fund Young Hockey Players

Feb 14, 2014

Annie Talmage of Kennebunk knew her twin 10 year-old sons, Liam and Lucien, were excited for the coming hockey season when they turned to her with two minutes left on the clock in their last football game of the fall and said, “We’ve won this, can we go to open skate now?” The first week they had their new hockey gear, the boys slept with the hockey sticks next to their bed.

Liam (left) and Lucien Breault of Kennebunk are two of the youngsters who have benefited from the Biddeford Savings Playmaker Program, which is administered by the Biddeford Youth Hockey Association.

Their passion for hockey is shared by many children of the same age throughout York County but the cost in the pay-to-play hockey leagues has gotten higher than many can afford, especially when a family like the Talmage’s have more than one child participating. Outfitting players in the proper equipment and paying the league and ice time fees can make it cost prohibitive.

The Biddeford Youth Hockey Association (BYHA), a non-profit, community based youth hockey program, recognized the need and sought a corporate sponsor who shared their concern about ensuring any child who wants to play hockey has the opportunity. They found a compassionate supporter in Biddeford Savings.

Together the bank and BYHA established the Playmaker Program, which covers program fees for families who need additional financial support. Participating families complete an application process and give back to the association by donating five hours of volunteer services throughout the hockey season.

“Almost 30 communities in York County have children in our programs,” says Jim Mulligan, BYHA president. “As a small non-profit organization, we are limited in terms of what we can do alone. But the generous support of Biddeford Savings means that parents won’t have to weigh having their children forfeit healthy activities like youth hockey.”

The Talmage/Breault family was one of the first scholarship recipients.

“Without the bank’s support, we would not have been able to have both Liam and Lucien in the program,” says Talmage, who adds that her sons are very active and need the outlet for exercise. “To be able to give our children an experience that enriches their lives is an indescribable joy. They get the physical activity and coaching discipline that not only makes them better athletes, it makes them better people. They are more focused with schoolwork, they are kinder to others and best of all they recognize that this is an amazing opportunity. We are truly grateful.”

“The Biddeford Youth Hockey Program touches the lives of children throughout our communities from the Kennebunks to Biddeford and Saco,” notes Charles Petersen, president and CEO of Biddeford Savings. “We view it as an excellent opportunity to reach families of all backgrounds with a program that encourages fair play, sportsmanship and exercise. This fits very nicely within our mission of assisting our customers and the extended community along the path to prosperity.”

“We have always liked the community values demonstrated by Biddeford Savings,” adds Talmage. “That is why Liam and Lucien both have their first savings accounts with the bank. It is important to teach our children to give back and really be involved and invested with their community.” To learn more about the Biddeford Savings Playmaker Program, visit biddefordyouthhockey.org.

Biddeford Savings, an independent, community-focused mutual savings bank founded in 1867, has offices in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Scarborough, and Waterboro. To learn more, visit biddefordsavings.com.