Ethan Aaranson, Congregation Shaare Emeth

As his mitzvah project, Ethan Aaranson organized a fundraiser for the Disabled Athlete Sports Association.

Ethan loves playing hockey and he wanted to share his love of this sport with those less able. Son of Rochelle and Randy Aaranson of Chesterfield, Ethan volunteered with the Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA) for his mitzvah project.  In particular, Ethan has been working with DASA’s St. Louis Blues Sled Hockey team, comprised of both men and women.

“The Blues play hockey games on sleds, with normal rules, positions, and pucks”, explained Ethan. “However, since they are on sleds, they use the jagged end of two sticks to move. This also allows them to shoot with one stick on each side. They push off the ice in a ski pole kind of technique,” he continued.  Ethan helped during the team’s practices by participating in the drills as well as starting and setting players up.

A student at Crestview Middle School, Ethan organized a fundraiser to benefit DASA at the Lindenwood Ice Rink in Wentzville.  His hockey team, the Chesterfield Falcons, played DASA’s St. Louis Blues Sled team.  A $5 donation was requested from everyone who came to watch.  Ethan also solicited for all the prizes given out during the event.

One of the events during the fundraiser was the “Chuck-A-Puck” contest. Numbered pucks were sold prior to the game for $1 or six for $5.  At a period break during the game a target was placed in the center of the ice. Whoever landed his or her puck closest to the target won a prize. An autographed hockey stick and coupons for ice skate sharpening were among the prizes.


Ethan also arranged for a live auction of some of his more valuable donations, such as one week at the Northern Edge Hockey Camp, valued at $425. There was also a T-shirt signed by all the St. Louis Blues Hockey Team players. Other items included memorabilia signed by St. Louis Blues players Jamie Langenbrunner, Jamie Rivers and Keith Tkachuk.

At the end of his fundraiser, Ethan raised more than $1,600.  “I am happy that I was able to make a difference in many people’s life. Since the beginning of my life, I have been trying to make a big difference in my world. This is one of the ways that I have done so in my life. The team told my dad that they were proud of how I carried myself on and off the ice,” Ethan said.  He hopes to make his fundraiser an annual event and plans to continue to volunteer at DASA.

Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA) recruits individuals with a permanent physical or visual disability or those who are deaf and hard of hearing and have difficulty participating in sports with non-disabled peers.  DASA encourages everyone to “discover the ability within.”  For more information, go to

Mitzvot from the Heart is compiled by Editorial Assistant Elise Krug. Contact her at [email protected] or 314-743-3671.