Its that time of year again when I mention the cost of sending a skater to Nationals. Fundraisers are few and far between so some parents are struggling, especially in this economy, to keep their child on the ice. Last year one mother had to borrow several thousand dollars so her son could make it to Spokane for the week. Did you know the coach gets paid for the entire time they are at Nationals? Meals, hotels, dress clothes for the after functions all add up quickly. Sometimes there's practice ice at another rink, transportation and other expenses. I am not suggesting you need to sponsor a skater with big bucks. Picking up a meal or leaving an envelope at the hotel front desk with a bit of cash goes a long way to helping a family. Instead of buying a stuffie to throw on the ice the same amount of money covers a breakfast. Souvenirs make great memories so purchase two t-shirts and give one to your favorite skater so the parents can save a little there. Your skater will be so grateful and you'll feel good too.