Much has been made of turning swords into plow sheers, but Jill Pull of Fountain Valley, California, has started a unique charity that turns broken hockey sticks into walking canes for disabled vets. Pull, who has had leg problems his whole adult life, produces the canes from used hockey sticks, many of which come from the Anaheim Ducks, and his own personal cane is from a stick that had once been used by Bobby Ryan.
The idea to reuse what would have otherwise ended up in the trash came to Pull while he was at a Ducks game in the spring of 2010, and saw that there were many broken hockey sticks by the bench. The sticks were made of the same carbon fiber material as Pull’s cane, and from there he realized that he could use the shaft of the sticks to make canes.
But so far the business hasn’t taken off as he hoped. With a few prototypes under his wing, Pull contacted the NHL – but found himself on thin ice due to licensing restrictions and regulations. While it couldn’t be a for profit business, Pull was not to be deterred and instead started a charity. With this Canes 4 Vets was born. The goal (no pun intended) is to give canes to those injured serving our country.
Today most of the sticks come from private donors,where the shaft of the old stick becomes the shaft of the new cane, complete with whatever tape job the owner originally may have originally applied. This makes a unique cane with no two exactly alike. Pull continues to reach out to the NHL, but in the meantime he’s continuing to help get the canes to those in need, especially veterans returning home.