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Giving back

by Kristi Hennessy / Winnipeg Jets

Despite the busy schedule that the Winnipeg Jets endure, there is always time to give back to the community. On December 7th, 13 of the Winnipeg Jets players paid a special visit to the Children's Rehabilitation Centre to spend time with a few special kids and their families.

“It’s a special day for the kids and it’s a special day for us,” said Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. “I really enjoyed spending time with the kids and they seem pretty happy, it was nice to see their smiles. Every time you get to do something like this for them it’s special, especially around Christmas time.”

Giving back to the community is what it’s all about for the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club.

“You never feel like you can give back enough,” said defenseman Mark Stuart. “The support we get is pretty unbelievable from the fans and the community, so it’s nice to do things like this and hopefully there are a lot more in the future to try to reciprocate.”

The special holiday visit meant just as much to the players as it did to the kids. Along with the visit, the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club donated goodie bags filled with stickers, books and toys for all of the children.

“I have to admit, I don’t know who’s having more fun, if the kids are having more fun or the players are having more fun,” said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff during the event. “I think the players are repaying some of that passion that the fans show in the arena all the time and they are each finding different ways to get involved in the community.”

Christine Schollenberg, Executive Director of the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation, expressed just how much this day meant to all of the kids and the entire centre. “Today is an exciting day for our kids because they were front and center and they were put before other kids, it was their rock star day.

“The players were really engaging with the kids, which was really important for them to learn,” she added. “I think it was a really big plus for the Jets organization to come here today and to see our kids and be a big part of this.”

Jets forward Evander Kane said that it was nice to take a step back and take a look at what’s in front of you.

“It’s nice to be able to get away from the hockey for a little bit and just look at the finer things in life and realize what’s important,” said Kane. “The kids and the families here do a great job of showcasing that.

“When I was growing up, I remember that if I saw an NHL player I was super excited, so I think it’s a pretty big deal for them. It’s great to be able to have the power to make these kids’ days a little better.”

Author: Kristi Hennessy-
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