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Franklin Lakes Parents Use Hockey To Carry On Late Son’s Legacy

A charity hockey game will be played Saturday in memory of Randy Rotella of Franklin Lakes.
A charity hockey game will be played Saturday in memory of Randy Rotella of Franklin Lakes. Photo Credit: Kristine Rotella

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. – Randy Rotella of Franklin Lakes worked hard to recover from addiction. And for a couple of years, it looked like he may have beat it.

The 2006 Indian Hills High School graduate went through a rehab program at Market Street Mission in Morristown.

Then he started to share his story with kids at area high schools and rehab centers, and “he was actually really good at it,” said his mom, Kristine Rotella. He even helped his parents open a sober living house in Bloomingdale for recovering addicts who lacked the type of family support that he had, she said.

He got a job at Lakeside Fitness in Oakland, helped train the Indian Hills hockey team, paid off bills, and had a wonderful girlfriend, she said.

So “when he relapsed, I think it was just a shock to everyone because he was doing so well and he had worked so hard to get to where he was,” she said.

Randy died of a heroin overdose on April 6, 2016. He was just 27.

To commemorate their son and raise funds for organizations he cared about, Kristine and her husband Matt will be hosting a charity hockey game on Saturday, April 8, at 2:15 p.m. at the Ice Vault in Wayne.

Proceeds from the game – which will be played by Randy’s former Indian Hills teammates – will go toward Market Street Mission, Valentine House Sober Living Homes and Indian Hills Ice Hockey, “the three teams that he used to be a part of,” his dad Matt said.

Matt said the family battled addiction for a number of years with Randy, and “it honestly didn’t end the way we wanted it to.” But he hopes others will be helped by the funds being raised in Randy’s memory.

He wants those in addiction to know there is help available. “Just get the help you need and stay strong,” he said.

To learn more about the charity hockey game or donate to the cause, CLICK HERE.

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