14 Mar 10 Years of Getzlaf’s Gamers
Thanks to Ryan Getzlaf, TELUS and Scott Lorencz, we are celebrating 10 years of our Getzlaf’s Gamers program! Sunday March 15th would’ve been our final Getzlaf’s Gamers after 10 amazing seasons. Although the WHL season has been postponed, we still want to take the time to reflect on the amazing memories from the last decade and the incredible work of The Calgary Sport and Entertainment staff and our generous supporters.
In 10 years, Ryan Getzlaf and TELUS have provided 20 Getzlaf’s Gamers
experiences per season with 10 children and 2 chaperones at each event. That means we have sent 2,000 kids along with their chaperones to enjoy an extra special VIP experience at the dome!
Over the years this experience has ignited a love of hockey in the hearts of so many children and families and allowed for fun, community building and respite from everyday challenges.
Ryan Getzlaf is a current NHL all-star, Stanley Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medal winner and Hitmen alumni who plays for the Anaheim Ducks. Ryan’s vision of giving back to his community and inspiring kids came true in 2008 when Kids Up Front was proud to host the first Getzlaf’s Gamers suite. The suite is hosted by Scott Lorencz, who is Ryan’s friend and former billet, and offers a delicious spread of food, drinks and snacks for the kids to enjoy while watching the game and some souvenirs of their experience including a t-shirt, toque and autographed photo from Ryan. Some lucky groups through the years even got to meet the NHL star in person!
Of course, the experience would not be the same if there was not the opportunity to cheer the Hitmen on while being featured on the JumboTron! Our Gamer’s groups also get the chance to meet the famous Farley the Fox, the Hitmen mascot! When available, the kids also have the opportunity to meet some of the Calgary Hitmen who are not dressed for the game and get some autographs.
A special thanks to Bernie Bajnok, Calgary Hitmen education advisor/billet coordinator, for being so great with our kids and encouraging them to interact with the Hitmen players and learn more about the game of hockey and the players themselves. Thanks also to Mike Moore, Vice President and Alternate Governor, for the visits and great conversation over the years.
To Scott and Ranell, words cannot express our heartfelt gratitude for the countless hours you've have spent with our kids and staff. We sincerely appreciate your comittment to this program and the incredible support you've shown to Kids Up Front and our families.
Thank you to the Scotiabank Saddledome staff for their incredible support of this program! Their staff has always put a smile on our kids’ faces and made sure their VIP experience went off without a hitch, we truly couldn’t have done it without their support. To all of our partner agencies who have filled in waivers, coordinated transportation and groups for Getzlaf’s Gamers, we are truly grateful for all of your hard work.
What an amazing 10 years! The Kids Up Front team is so grateful for all the generosity that has been extended to us and our kids and families over the last decade.
At this time, we are sending all the positive wishes to Ryan Getzlaf, the NHL and the WHL in this complex time and wishing for the continued health of everyone involved in these incredible organizations.
A farewell and final thank you to Ryan Getzlaf, TELUS, the Calgary Hitmen and Scott and Ranell Lorencz for being a part of this program’s success. We can not thank you enough for helping some of Calgary’s most deserving and vulnerable kids have a truly special evening in VIP style, creating memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.