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Only Good Thing To Come Of Nor'easter May Have Been From Ridgewood Teens

Austin Katchen, 1 of Cliffside Park, is battling neuroblastoma. Photo Credit: Melissa Lawrence
Melissa Lawrence with baby Austin. Photo Credit: Melissa Lawrence
Joe Rahaim of Ridgewood. Photo Credit: Joe Rahaim

If anything good came from last week's Nor'easter, it was the quick-thinking and handy work of the Ridgewood High School hockey team.

Senior athlete Joe Rahaim capitalized on the storm to help his coach, Anthony Katchen, whose 1-year-old baby Austin is battling an aggressive form of cancer.

Rahaim -- who owns an odd jobs business -- rallied his teammates and a few of his employees to help shovel snow for 31 area residents.

The team donated all $4,000 in proceeds and donations to the Katchens of Cliffside Park.

"It was much more than I would have ever expected from people who don't even know Austin," said Rahaim, 18, "but they donated out of the goodness of their hearts."

Austin was diagnosed with neuroblastoma this winter and has since had many blood transfusions and chemo treatments.

His father, who coached Rahaim the past three years, was unable to return this year.

When Head Coach Mike Luchessi suggested the team do something to help the Katchens, Rahaim had just the idea.

"I was thinking to myself that I had this business," Rahaim said. "I knew if I could get all of the hockey guys together, we could give the profits to Coach Katchen."

As the Nor'easter approached, he pitched his idea to the team.

Everyone was on board.

The Ridgewood Hockey Team and Joe's Odd Jobs employees were able to raise $1,955 through shoveling and $2,058 in donations. 

They gave all of the $4,013 in proceeds to the Katchens.

Melissa Lawrence, Katchen's sister, started a GoFundMe for baby Austin that had raised more than $64,100 as of Monday morning.

"What they did for us leaves us speechless," Lawrence told Daily Voice.

"It's hard for my brother and sister-in-law to do stay optimistic when they're at hospital all the time, but they're feeling so much love and it's helping them stay positive."

"It's incredible to see how much good there still is in the world."



RHS Hockey Team

  • Head Coach: Mike Lucchesi
  • Assistant Coach: Paul Cronk

Players: Liam Clark, Dylan Bronowitch, Justin Sherman, Johnny English, Nolan Beiter, Mason Schick, Ben Loughlin, Nate loughlin, Jack Fleming, Ryan Schultz, Tim Anzano, Ben Rubenstein , Ben Sudol, Alex Lemoine, Kevin Brennan and Sebastion Samuels. 

Joe's Odd Jobs Employees:

  • Luke Simpson
  • Avery Scott
  • Parker Scott

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