ESTERO, Fla - Tuesday night, fans 'Packed it for Piper' at Germain Arena. It was a charity hockey game - Florida Everblades alumni versus current the Florida Everblades roster.
Three year-old Piper Lynne Buckley, daughter of Florida Everblades standout Tom Buckley passed away on Christmas Day in 2009 of a heart condition. Piper was born prematurely weighing only 3.9 lbs. and was saved by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Children's Hospital. Piper spent 21 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before she was released and spent many additional days at The Children's Hospital as a toddler. Piper was the only child of Tom Buckley and Heather Holland, both of Fort Myers.
Current Florida Everblades star Ernie Hartlieb organized the event, along with his girlfriend Miranda Hickel, to support the efforts of the Buckley and Holland families in saving the lives of the tiniest patients at The Children's Hospital.
To date, nearly $100,000 has been raised in Piper's honor to provide life-saving equipment and treatment for premature babies in our community.
The event also featured silent and live auctions to benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.