Making a difference on and off the ice

Hockey-playing Woodmere Middle School student donates money to charities


A few years ago, Woodmere Middle School eighth-grader Max Rovner was watching a television special on Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist and hearing about how much he contributed to the Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation, Rovner was inspired and began researching what he could do to help.

“I asked my mom and dad if they thought it was a good idea to donate money based upon how many saves I made per game,” said Rovner, who lives in Hewlett. “After Hurricane Sandy and seeing the damage that had been done to so many people, including my Uncle Marc and his family, I decided to split the donations between Garden of Dreams and Hurricane Sandy Relief.”

Rovner, who has been playing hockey since he was 5-years-old and is in his third season as a goalie for the Kings Park-based Long Island Royals hockey team, donates 25 cents per save, one dollar per win and five dollars per shutout for the entire season. So far he’s raised $217 and keeps track of his earnings on his Facebook page. “I thought it would be a lot of fun to chart and have other people follow my progress on my Facebook page, which I update each week,” he said. “I hope to raise as much money as possible for both causes and do let others know about the great work both of these charities do.”

According to Rovner, his parents match his donation and his 11-year-old brother Sam, who plays for the For the Love of the Game lacrosse travel team, also donates money for each hit and win, as well.

When Rovner approached his father with the idea to donate money to charities, Brett and his wife, Stacey, were blown away. “We are blessed to have kids who are as thoughtful and kind hearted as all four of our children are,” Brett said. “We always said that Max is an ‘old soul’ with an incredibly generous heart.”

Brett also began playing hockey when he was 5, and said hockey benefits kids in so many ways. “It teaches them the concept of a team, discipline and helps their focus,” he said. “They make friends all over the country and even internationally which helps with their self-esteem and the physical benefits of being on the ice six days a week is incredible.”

Rovner’s ultimate goal is to play in the NHL when he grows up but in the meantime he’s focusing on helping less fortunate children. “The feeling that you get when helping other people is the greatest feeling in the world,” he said. “I want to be a player who makes a difference in the world, not just on the ice.”

For more information about “Saves for Dreams” visit