Charity hockey game planned to help find Brendan Santo
ROCHESTER, Mich. (WILX) — As part of the ongoing effort to find missing teenager Brendan Santo, his former hockey team is hosting a charity game in his hometown of Rochester.
The 18-year-old Grand Valley State University student was last seen Oct. 29 leaving MSU’s Yakeley Hall. He was on campus visiting friends before the Michigan-Michigan State football game.
Brendan played defense for Rochester United, a team made up of players from Rochester Adams and Rochester High Schools, when he was with Adams. Each winter break, the team’s former players return to Rochester to play a friendly match with current United players.
This year, Brendan would have been on the old side of the face-off circle.
Head coach Austin Grzenia and team captain Shane Arbor came up with the idea of using this year’s game as a way to raise awareness for the search for Brendan.
The game is being held to raise money for the GoFundMe set up to help with research. There will be “missing persons” flyers with pre-stamped envelopes for attendees to take away and share across the country. Participants can also participate in a 50-50 raffle.
Jack Meyers played hockey and lacrosse with Brendan.
“He was kind of a funny guy,” Jack said. “He liked to joke and have fun. He was a fun guy to be around.
Jack was one of many friends and teammates who traveled to MSU to help search for Brendan after he disappeared.
“The campus seemed a bit dead and there weren’t many people walking around when we were watching,” Jack said. “It was just very strange.”
Throughout this season, the team has collected money from every home game. Those funds went to the GoFundMe set up to help Santo’s research.
Jack’s mother, Terri, said the community helps Brendan’s family.
“As a parent, I can’t even imagine how the Santo family feels,” Terri said. “We as a community have very active hockey moms who are constantly looking for clues and leads. In the Rochester community, many parents have spearheaded initiatives, from helping people search to printing flyers. As a parent, we want Brendan to be home.
“We miss him,” Jack said. “We just want him to come home. We really miss him a lot.
Admission is free donations are encouraged. All the money raised will go to Gofundme. Attendees are encouraged to wear blue, one of Rochester United’s team colours.
The game is Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Suburban Ice Rochester. Suburban Ice (formerly known as Onyx Ice Arena) is located at 52999 Dequindre Road, Rochester, MI 48307.
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