PITTSFIELD >> The first annual William S. Litty Youth Hockey Scholarship Award has been presented to two Berkshire Bruins players: Lauren Crocker, a Bantam player and Preston Phair of the Mites team.
The memorial scholarship award was established by the Litty family, in honor of Bill Litty, following his death in July 2016, and is funded by donations from family and friends.
A lifelong Pittsfield resident, loyal Boston Bruins fan, and coach in the 1970s and '80s for PeeWees, Mites and Bantams teams at the Pittsfield Boys Club, Bill loved the game of hockey and wanted every child to have the opportunity to play.
With his wife Joan, they attended, cheered on and traveled with their son Chris's hockey teams as active and enthusiastic "hockey parents." The Littys also served as a "driving force" in the Pittsfield Boys Club Hockey Equipment Sale, which provided used hockey equipment at very reasonable prices, allowing more kids the chance to play the sport Bill loved.
A child of the Depression who knew firsthand what is was to go without, Bill wanted all kids to have the opportunity, support and encouragement to participate in team hockey. He felt that the skills and discipline developed while playing team sports were important life lessons.
Chris Litty presented the awards to Crocker and Phair in a ceremony held this past Wednesday, at the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, home rink of the Berkshire Bruins youth hockey league. Donations to the fund may be sent to The William S. Litty Youth Hockey Scholarship Award, c/o the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, 16 Melville St., Pittsfield, MA 02101.