“Park here for only $5 bucks. Park here,” Cam yells to passing cars through a megaphone.
“It’s pretty fun because I get to park cars and hang with the hockey players and have some fun,” Cam explained Friday.
Coach Gil Doe is entering his 30th season behind the bench. He says parking cars is a team tradition going on more than 12 years. Each year, customers from near and far stay loyal to the team for the sake of charity.
“It supports, you know, kids that want to play hockey every year,” Westfield resident and West Side native Richard Fohlbrook said. “Hockey is an expensive sport so they need every dollar they can get.”
“We get people that come here and they park for the 17 days,” Rick Casey said.
Coach Doe says the profit they make parking cars is critical to sustaining the program for the high school kids.
“They are helping us in a lot of things that we do for West Springfield High School hockey,” Doe said. “Trips that we want to take, extra ice time for the kids, tough sport, an expensive sport.”
The team uses two lots from local businesses. With plenty of competition along Memorial Avenue, Coach Doe says there is method to the Big E madness.
“We spend a lot of time designing our lot. A thousand cones on the weekend,” Doe said. “We do it very well down here We fight for our customers down here, really. We want our people down here. We try to doll up real nice and get people in here.”
With some enthusiastic help from a future hockey player, Cameron Collette.
Don’t forget to come and say “hi” to ABC40 at the Big E! We’re at gate five near the flag plaza and will be there from 3-7 weekdays and 1-5 on weekends. We’ll be doing live broadcasts and giving away prizes!