USA Paralympic hockey team member reunites with Richland students

Paralympic hockey coach visits Richland school

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The captain of the USA Paralympic hockey team made a stop at Richland elementary and high schools but Christy Garner is no stranger to the high school. She’s developed a relationship with the kids after they worked to help her reach her Olympic dreams.

Smiles and cheers for Paralympic athlete Christy Gardner filled the gym as she talked about K-9′s on the Front Line . It is a program designed to help veterans get service dogs like Lucky Tim and Moxie.

“My role in life like when you try to find your purpose you need to be my job is to help these kids become the best they need to be,” she said.

Garner developed a close relationship with some of these students after they built a website to support her Paralympic hockey team. Students like Harlie Leeper were just glad to see her.

“I am happy to see Christy Gardner come and see her along with her two dogs because our school is like a family, and having such a small school we’re able to know everybody, and get to know people a lot easier. When Christy came she grew into that family," she said.

The teachers also said her love for her therapy dogs also inspired them to get one of their own.

“After she came the first time we actually got our own service dog and we actually have our own service dog now,” Prinkley said.

And now, these kids are helping Garner again by raising money for K9s on the Front Line to help other vets in their community.

“Its just amazing to have their support and for me to come out here to help work with the kids,” Gardner said.

Prinkley said the kids just enjoy being able to help others.

“They get really excited that we support her and her message and her service dogs and K9s on the front line and all together helping someone and our country,” Prinkley said.

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