|Members of the Oilers Octane pose with a young Stollery Children's Hospital patient Saturday, April 9, 2011. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club) |
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in April, eight members of the Oilers Octane made a visit to the beach. This wasn’t just any ordinary beach: it’s the special play area at the Stollery Children’s Hospital where children who are battling illness can come for a break from treatment to just enjoy being kids.
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The beach was bustling with action when the Octane arrived and the team quickly joined in to play and have fun with the kids.
“It’s pretty cool the Octane came to visit us and say hi,” said 16 year old Stollery patient Justin. “It helps me and the other kids get better knowing they took the time to come see us today.”
From air hockey, crafts, sand boxes to Jenga, the Octane played with the kids for nearly two hours while getting to know a little about each one of them.
“It’s been an unbelievable day, I can’t express how great this experience is for us - the kids are all so joyous and that’s what it’s all about,” said Octane member Ashley. “This visit warms my heart, I take away the fact that these kids are so incredibly strong, we can’t even fathom what they’re going through and this whole experience really humbled each and every one of us.”
A favourite amongst most of the kids were the Octane’s pom poms, the bright blue and orange colours caught the kids attention and many danced and jumped around playing with the shinny poms while learning a few of the Octane’s routines.
“The children are so happy when members of the community come out and spend time with them, it brightens their day,” said Jill Painter, Stollery Children’s Hospital Child Life Specialist. “A lot of these kids’ days are difficult so to be able to come to the playroom and talk to people who really care and who are there to put smiles on their faces means so much to the kids.”
Since being introduced to Oil Country last December, the Octane have been just as busy across Oil Country visiting hospitals and attending community and charitable events. If you’d like the Octane to attend a community event, visit www.oilersoctane.ca to submit the event details.