The idea was simple enough for the Flyers Wives – help remake the bedroom for a teenage Flyers fans battling cancer.
But once they get rolling, they can’t stop and this became oh-so-much-more.
Christopher Sok, 17, who is in treatment for throat cancer, saw his room get a new look with a theme – a mechanic’s garage adorned with Flyers-related memorabilia.
But it wasn’t just Christopher’s room.
The Flyers Wives teamed up with Michael’s Way to redo the master bedroom, the upstairs bathroom and provide new furniture for the living room and dining room for the Oxford Circle family.
“I’m pretty amazed,” said Suk. “This doesn’t look like my house at all. I love it. I didn’t expect this. My parents are really happy. They are crying. They can’t stop. I’m just really surprised. Thank you [Flyers]… a lot.”
It was just another way to give back to the community.
“I really felt like this project that we were involved in and get in, use a little elbow grease and a lot of the ladies talents to work together and have a personal contact with the people you are helping,” said Rhonda McCarthy, wife of Flyers assistant coach Kevin McCarthy. “It is hugely emotional. I’ve become very attached to these people. When I see it done it means the world to me. It’s a purpose.”
Part of their “Building Hope for Kids” initiative, the Flyers Wives put the Suk family up in a hotel for the weekend and then went to work on their home.
The Suks returned Sunday to see the makeover and were also greeted by several Flyers players and their wives or girlfriends who made the trek out to Northeast Philly for the special unveiling.
“This is the second one that I’ve seen where the Flyers Wives and Michael’s Way have gotten together to make somebody’s life better who is going through a difficult time,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. “There are so many tough things that go on in the world but when you walk in and see something like this, it’s really special.”
Laviolette spent time talking with Suk in his new bedroom and discussed a lot of things about Suk’s future.
“He wants to be a mechanic,” Laviolette said. “He’s going to school for that now and he’s an ace with cars. I told him I wasn’t very good with cars personally so I had to get his number to help me out if I ever need to get my car fixed.”
Brothers Brayden and Luke Schenn have been involved from the very beginning, posing for pictures with the family as part of the promotion of the event through the combined efforts of the charities.
They were also on hand along with Matt Read, Ilya Bryzgalov, Claude Giroux and Braydon Coburn as well as assistant coaches Joey Mullen, John Paddock, Jeff Reese and McCarthy for the unveiling.
“It’s quite the moment we just had,” said Luke Schenn. “The Flyers Wives have done such a great job the last couple months putting this all together. It’s tough to see Christopher and his family going through what they’re going through so it was awesome to be here for the reveal and to see their reaction to the completed project. It was special.”
Brayden was in total agreement with his older brother.
“He was pretty surprised and extremely happy,” Brayden Schenn said. “To put a smile on his face and to see his family really happy is great for them and is awesome. It puts a smile on our faces as well.”
The mission of Michael’s Way is to help families of children with cancer to cope with the extraordinary expenses that come about as a direct result of the child’s illness.
Comcast-Spectacor Charities, of which the Flyers Wives are an arm, wanted to send out thank yous to all of our sponsors who made this renovation so wonderful for everyone involved, especially for Christopher: Aramark, Atta Boy Management, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Classic Cake, Colonial Marble & Granite, Comcast-Spectacor, Diamond Flooring, Dougherty Electric, Fastrack Construction, Inc., First State Mechanical, Liberty Landscape, Lora Carr Photography, PMC Property Group, and Trevdan Building Supply.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37