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Swinging for Hope: The Rick Martin Legacy Lives On in Compass House's Memorial Classic

Written by: Adam Noonan

In the heart of Buffalo, where hockey legends are celebrated and community spirit runs deep, there lies a testament to the enduring legacy of Rick Martin, a cherished member of the Buffalo Sabres family. But Martin's impact transcended the ice rink; it reached into the lives of the most vulnerable in our community through his support of Compass House, a safe place for runaway and homeless youth.

The Richard L. Martin Memorial Classic, an annual golf tournament held by us here at Compass House, stands as a testament to Martin's commitment to making a difference. But how did a hockey icon become intertwined with a cause dedicated to supporting disadvantaged youth?

It began with a chance encounter at a fundraiser where Martin's son's band was slated to perform. Intrigued by the event, Martin sought to learn more about Compass House and the vital services they provided to youth in need. His visit to Compass House opened his eyes to the harsh realities faced by runaway and homeless youth in Buffalo, inspiring him to become an avid supporter of the organization.

As Martin immersed himself in Compass House's mission, he recognized the urgent need for support within the community. This realization fueled his dedication to the cause, and he quickly became a driving force behind the organization's efforts to provide shelter, support, and resources to vulnerable youth.

Tragically, Martin's life was cut short, but his spirit lives on through the Richard L. Martin Memorial Classic. Thanks to the generosity of his wife, Mikey Martin, Compass House was granted the naming rights for the tournament, ensuring that Martin's legacy of compassion and generosity endures.

Following Martin's passing, his dear friend and fellow Sabres legend, Rene Robert, stepped in to carry on the tradition of supporting Compass House and honoring Martin's memory. Together, they expanded the tournament, inviting other Sabres alumni and supporters to join their cause.

The Buffalo Sabres organization, through its foundation, has been an unwavering partner in Compass House's mission. Legends like Danny Gare, Martin Biron, Brian Duff, Terry Martin, Don Luce, and Derrick Smith continue to lend their support to the Richard L. Martin Memorial Classic, ensuring its continued success year after year.

The Buffalo Sabres Foundation's commitment to the tournament goes beyond sponsorship; they actively participate by sending players and donating raffle items, further amplifying the impact of the event and enabling Compass House to reach more youth in need.

As the Compass House Richard L. Martin Memorial Classic approaches on June 10th at River Oaks Golf Club, we invite you to join us in honoring Rick Martin's legacy and supporting the homeless and runaway youth of Western New York. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that every young person has the opportunity to build a brighter future.

You can register for the tournament using the link below:

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