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Cookies for a great cause

by Mitch Sharma / Edmonton Oilers
Oilers Ladies get in cookie decorating mode at the Kids with Cancer Society. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
“To make these kids lives as normal as possible”

That is the goal for Val Figliuzzi, Executive Director for the Kids with Cancer Society. On March 4, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) and the Oilers Ladies took part in a Cookie Bake at the Kids with Cancer Society. There they made crafts and baked cookies with children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The Kids with Cancer Society have created family centered programs that are essential to effectively treat children with cancer. In order to meet the needs of the child and their families from the time of diagnosis, throughout treatment, survivorship and beyond, programs are developed that address the support, clinical and research needs of children with cancer.
According to Figliuzzi, the Oilers Ladies provide an excellent opportunity for these children to feel special.
“Not only do we receive the financial support from the EOCF and Oilers Ladies, but more importantly we are reaching out to Oilers fans,” said Filiuzzi. “At the end of the day, it is not about just raising funds but giving the children a normal life.”
Jason Strudwick’s wife, Schoena, has been involved with the Kids with Cancer Society and the Oilers Ladies for three years. She sees this event as an escape from reality for the children as they can have fun just being a kid.
“We love how the Kids for Cancer Society house brings these special kids here to make them feel at home,” said Strudwick. “The fact we can bring some sunshine to their grey days makes it all worth it.”
Another strong supporter of the Kids with Cancer Society is Ashley Klawitter, fiancée to defenceman Ladislav Smid. In her third year with the Oilers Ladies, her favorite moment is spending time with the kids at the Cookie Bake.
“Ultimately our role is taking the children’s minds off the tougher challenges they face daily,” says Klatwitter. ”Seeing how much fun they’re having and the smiles on their faces lets us know we are doing a great job.”
In addition to the Cookie Bake, the Oilers Ladies are active in the community yearround and run three fundraisers at Rexall Place during the Edmonton Oilers season. Earlier in the season, the Oilers Ladies successfully ran the Rally Against Cancer and Shirts Off Our Back campaigns.

Their final event, the St. Patrick’s Day Puck Surprise, takes place on March 17 when the Oilers square off against the Phoenix Coyotes. The EOCF and Oilers Ladies will be selling limited edition autographed pucks for $20. Those lucky fans who get one of the 23 pucks signed in gold will also receive a team signed stick. All proceeds will support the local charities and the EOCF.
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