‘We believe Ava is always with us’: Local hockey player to host Ava Wood Fundraiser

CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — One year after the death of Ava Wood, the Central New York community is still keeping her name alive.

For the second year in a row, local West Genesee teen Nick Meluni is hosting a fundraiser called “Play for Ava Celebration” at the Wildcat Pizza Pub in Camillus.

Nick Meluni is a first-year player on the West Genesee hockey team, which won the sectional title this past Monday, Feb. 26, and after their regional game on Saturday, Meluni is hosting this event on Sunday, March 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Courtesy of Nick Meluni

According to Meluni’s dad and Syracuse University Associate Teaching Professor Dave Meluni, Nick has ramped up the support of Ava’s scholarship this year with special Play for Ava bracelets.

“As hockey season begins I will be honoring the legacy of my dear friend Ava Wood all season long with these amazing wristbands,” stated Nick Meluni on Instagram.

Ava Wood was a 9th grader honor roll student at Baldwinsville’s Durgee Junior High School. She was MVP of the girl’s JV soccer team and a key member of the track and field program.

She was a loved member of the community before she was shot to death at 14 years old by her father in an apparent murder-suicide.

Over the past year, multiple events honoring the life of Ava Wood have been hosted, including Meluni’s fundraiser last yeara fun run, a memorial scholarship and a remembrance night held by Wood’s family this past January.

“We believe Ava is always with us, Nick has 19 points on the season, and we are pretty sure she has something to do with it,” said Dave Meluni.

Tickets for the “Play for Ava Celebration” cost $19 and can be paid at the door of the Wildcat Pizza Pub. Each ticket comes with free pizza, ziti, salad and non-alcoholic drinks.

For more information, click here.

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