Asher Postman

September marks the beginning of my favorite season: hockey! My name is Asher Postman, and this will be my final year playing youth hockey since I’m entering my senior year. My two choices are to play JV with a club or skate at the Grand Rapids Youth Foundation for free. I am a dedicated player always looking to improve, but the JV team is very expensive and out of my family’s financial reach. I plan to contribute most of my earnings from my ranch job, and take any extra jobs I can, but it still won’t be enough. For this reason, I am approaching your organization to ask if you would consider sponsoring me.

Unfortunately, hockey isn’t like other sports where there are many options at affordable prices. For me, there are only two options as I mentioned above. The Griffins Youth Foundation is free, which is obviously very desirable. But after playing GRAHA JV for two years, I’ve fallen in love with the hard work and competition that is offered at that level. Almost everyone in JV cares for the game and plays to the best of his or her ability, which is what makes hockey “hockey.”

Most kids have the option to try out for Varsity. However, since I am home-schooled, I am not eligible. I could have chosen to skip hockey this year altogether – it would definitely save my family and I a lot of stress, time and money, but I’m half Canadian – it’s in my blood! Therefore I have chosen JV, which happens to be really expensive.

Coming into this, I knew it would take commitment to earn money for my fees, but I felt it would benefit me as a person. Last winter I got a job at a horse ranch about 15 minutes away from my house. I work there two or three mornings a week picking the horses stalls, giving them food and water and taking them out to their pastures. I make $25 a morning for about three hours of work, which is fairly good, but since I only work a few days a week, it’s a slow way of making the money required to play. I wouldn’t be able to save enough to make the deadline. I think it would be more responsible to put some of my money aside for the future, but that is very difficult when I have such an enormous hockey bill. My parents support my hockey playing, but are unable to come up with the extra money to fund the fees along with the cost of gas and travel.

Last year, my older brother and I started selling maple syrup made from the sap from six acres of maple trees on our farm. So far, we have had great success; I was able to pay off a great deal of last year’s GRAHA bill with its proceeds. This year we decided to make a business move. Previously we only received 35% of the maple syrup we produced because we are borrowing all our buckets and spiles from the farmer that also professionally boils down our sap to make the syrup. This year, we decided to buy 400 buckets and spiles from him, in hopes that our percentage goes up to 50% next year. This cost us $800, so the next $800 we sell will be going towards paying off our new asset. I believe this decision will pay off next year when we will be making a larger profit, but for now, I won’t be able to put any profit from the business towards my hockey bill.

The coach of this year’s team, Jeff Lobdell, has already been an inspiration to me. He is the owner of GR8 Foods, a franchise of 17 highly rated restaurants in the Grand Rapids area. He invited my brother and I to lunch a few months ago to talk about how he became successful and gave us advice for our own business. He also talked about his coaching view and standards. I am very excited to have him as my coach this year. He is a very respectable person and has a lot to offer in terms of helping me become a stronger player and harder worker. My biggest goal outside of improving my hockey skills is to be our team’s captain. I want to be a good influence and learn some leadership skills I can carry with me.

It is my hope that in reading this, you don’t get the idea that I am complaining about all the work I have to do in order to be a part of a club hockey team. My parents agreed to another year of hockey because they saw that it built character for us to be involved. I agree that learning the value of hard work and the sacrifices needed to reach goals will benefit me for a lifetime. I would like to be able to enjoy the sport I love without having to put all of my money towards it. I received a grant from you last year and it enabled me to play hockey without the stress of carrying the full financial burden. The less I have to worry about paying for hockey, the more I can focus on saving my money for my future. It is because of organizations like yours that I am able to play the sport I love.