As part of Luc Bourdon Tribute night during the Vancouver Canucks season opener of the 2007-08 season, Candice McFarlane and her boyfriend Tommy Deranja selflessly presented Bourdon’s family with his final Canucks game-worn jersey.
Little did Candice and Tommy know, but five years later their actions would lead to another act of kindness.
Phil Moore was in the stands on October 9, 2008, and when Candice, joined by Roberto Luongo and Alex Burrows, presented the Bourdon family with Luc’s jersey, he came up with a plan.
When – not if – but when I win the Canucks For Kids Fund 50/50, I’ll give back.
“I just knew I was going to win sooner or later,” said Moore, a real estate agent and Canucks season ticket holder. “I visualized it over and over again, winning and handing out this big cheque.
“If you’re in the shootout and you’re skating down the ice, you have to visualize your move and visualize scoring. If you visualize something over and over again, it just happens.”
And, wouldn’t you know it, it happened.
Moore bought 50/50 tickets during this year’s Canucks season opener; he put them in his pocket and forgot about them. Moore’s family also bought tickets and when the winning numbers were revealed that night, they all checked, cursed and ripped.
Not Phil. If the Canucks are losing, he doesn’t check his tickets.
He bought more tickets the following night and, after the Canucks blew a 2-0 lead en route to their second straight loss, Moore didn’t check those ones either. All the tickets were thrown into a shoebox where they slept the losses off before being retrieved Monday. That’s when Moore realized he had won and won big.
The total 50/50 pot from the season opener was $293,676, meaning Moore walked away with a cool $146,838.
He didn’t sleep much that night. He tossed and turned not about what to do with the money, but how much of it to give back.
Before the Canucks beat the Calgary Flames 5-1 a few Saturday nights ago, Moore presented Alex Mitchell, director of Community Partnerships, with a jumbo cheque for $25,000 to the Canucks For Kids Fund. The money will go to support a variety of organizations in the areas of children’s health and wellness, grassroots hockey and education.
This is the first time in a long time (possibly ever) that a 50/50 winner who had their life changed turned around and changed the lives of others.
Moore wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“The last quarter of real estate was the toughest in 24 years, there were periods where we spent more than we made,” explained Moore. “The majority of the winnings will go to pay bills, but it was a unanimous decision within the family that we didn’t want a vacation or anything, we’d rather give a chunk back to help out as much as possible.”
The impact of such a generous donation can’t be properly measured, unfortunately, but Moore and family know they did the right thing. The smiles on their faces during the pre-game cheque ceremony, where Moore was joined by his wife Doris Gee, children Brandon, Brittany and Mikhail, along with Mikhail’s wife Kathleen and their two children, Nathaniel and Elisabeth, were proof of that.
“It’s ‘giver’s gain’ – It means that in life, if you give, you’ll gain later on, it’s a win-win. It’s like treating others the way you want to be treated.”