SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – The weather was cold but hearts were warm in South Hadley Sunday morning when members of the Junior Thunderbirds hockey team honored a local mother who lost her son in combat. The players did some yard work for a Gold Star mother, Karen Daly, who tragically lost her son Steven in combat.

Frances and George Daly are “puppy-sitting” while their daughter Karen is in Japan visiting her other son that’s in the service. “These kids had a ball doing it, and I can’t say enough but thank you. I mean I know Karen would appreciate this. I know she’d cry. But I think it’s good to see young kids do this, ” said Frances and George Daly.

Jr. Thunderbirds coach, Ian Reopel had been searching for a service project his team could take on and was connected with Karen and the Dalys through the Springfield Vet Center.

“These children are twelve years old, so not quite in high school yet but I’m trying to teach them what the values of being a good citizen within their community and giving back is a big part of my life, and I want to teach these children at a young age how to do so as well,” said Reopel.

The service means a lot to Frances and George, who said the work shows love to the community and helps those who need it the most.

“What they’re doing, I hope people take advantage of this. They’re volunteering to do this for other veteran families,” said Frances and George Daly.