11 Jan Keep Calm and Getz On! Forever a Hitmen!
Surprise kids! Nine children had the night of their life on December 28 when Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks made a visit to the Telus suite to surprise them as part of the Kids Up Front Getzlaf’s Gamers program. Ryan Getzlaf has been generously supporting this program for 6 years, with his famous #15 Hitmen jersey being retired last year in a fabulous on-ice ceremony. Telus also supports this program by donating their suite for twenty Hitmen games each season, allowing Kids Up Front to host a VIP Getzlaf’s Gamers evening for ten deserving kids each time.
When children attend Getzlaf’s Gamers, they receive a special night out watching hockey in style with pizza, cookies and drinks, autographs and meet-and-greet with Hitmen players, an appearance on the Jumbotron, a hilarious visit with Farley, signed swag and t-shirts, and special time with their friends. Many of these kids have never been in the Saddledome or watched a live hockey game before!
On December 28, Kids Up Front staff planned the surprise well in advance, and received nominations through our Pay It Forward Project which is proudly supported by Cenovus! Agencies nominated deserving kids who would appreciate this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet an NHL player and spend the evening watching hockey together.
It was so exciting to see the kids’ jaws drop when Ryan walked in!
Thank you to the Calgary Hitmen organization, staff and players who made this night extra special for our kids. The children always love to receive autographs, ask a few questions of the players, and shake hands. Farley, we always love your visits to the suite, creating smiles and laughter for everyone, even though somehow you always manage to spill the popcorn!
We were privileged to have many of the Getzlaf family in attendance, with Ryan’s brother Chris Getzlaf of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and wife Tia there to cheer the players on, and father Steve Getzlaf sharing in the excitement as well. Halfway through the game Paige Getzlaf and son Ryder surprised everyone with their arrival, making for a fabulous night of fun, family and friends!
We are so fortunate and grateful to be the recipient of Ryan’s and Telus’ generosity. Thank you for being such committed partners with our organization and making dreams come true! The kids had a night they will never forget; not everyone gets to hang out and talk hockey with an NHL team captain over the Christmas break!
KEEP CALM AND GETZ ON #15!