BIDDEFORD — There was no campaign and no inauguration, instead in a quiet and smooth transition of power, the Biddeford Youth Hockey Association elected Dan McGarry to be its new leader less than a month ago. 

In a BYHA board meeting Thursday evening, McGarry led the meeting, quietly listening and asking short questions. McGarry appears to be an efficient, pragmatic and caring leader. 

It has been 26 days since McGarry has entered office and operations are running smoothly. The recent King of the Rink event was successful and the board is already discussing how best to organize the crowd that wants to be involved next year.

McGarry’s goals for the future center around expanding the program at all levels of youth hockey. McGarry is enthusiastic about the upcoming Try Hockey for Free Day event, sponsored by USA Hockey, to help young people who would like to try hockey play for a day. The next Try Hockey For Free Day is Feb. 25. See for details. 

McGarry tells a story about a young man from a single-parent household who came out to Try Hockey for Free Day and loved it so much he spent his entire summer working to save up enough to afford the cost of hockey next year. It is events like this that enable ambitious and financially saavy young people to sample a sport before they invest. 

The BYHA makes efforts to address the steep cost of hockey as a barrier to students in other ways, such as through managing the Playmaker fund for financial assistance to BYHA skaters in need of a little help. 

Board meetings are often notorious for a lot of talk and little action, but the BYHA hosts a refreshingly productive open meeting. In a model of the benefits of small, localized community government, they seem to waste little (if any) time or money. If the trend continues, we should expect well-balanced decisions from this team.

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