‘Skatin for Leighton’ fundraiser rolls to Valley ice rinks

Leighton Accardo
Posted at 4:48 PM, Feb 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 17:18:59-05

Arizona Coyotes ambassador and former Olympic hockey player Lyndsey Fry set out Sunday morning to rollerblade 96-miles across the Valley to raise money for a scholarship honoring Leighton Accardo.

Leighton was 9-years-old when she passed away in November after a battle with stage four cancer. Fry stopped at several hockey rinks throughout the Phoenix area and, at times, was joined by Leighton’s siblings and other players for segments of the event, named ‘Skatin’ for Leighton.’

“Just having Leighton, her family, her siblings all a part of this in person and in spirit to, kind of, push me through… that’s what’s going to make this all happen,” Fry told ABC15 before leaving Phoenix Children’s Hospital around 7:30 a.m.

The goal was to raise $49,000 for a scholarship fund to inspire and motivate young girls to play hockey. Forty-nine was Leighton’s jersey number. As of 4 p.m. Sunday, the Coyotes said $47,112 had been raised.

“It’s comforting to know that Leighton won’t be forgotten and her name will live on,” her mother, Carly Accardo, said at the starting line. “Leighton would just tell [Lyndsey] she could do it,” she said, speaking of the 96-mile endeavor. “I know she’s really proud of Lyndsey and what she’s doing.”

The Coyotes organized a “slapshot competition” around lunchtime at one of the stops outside the Coyotes Community Ice Center in Mesa. Several dozen parents and kids gathered to cheer on Fry as she made her way to the rink.

Fry hopes to arrive to Gila River Arena around 8 p.m. following stops in Arcadia, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale and Peoria.