The Comox Valley Chief’s pee wee A team, along with manager Trevor Pritoula (left), donated gift cards, video games, pre-made meals and baked goods to families at Jeneece Place at Victoria General Hospital on Sunday. The facility serves families from across the Island. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Island team gives back to Jeneece Place

Team donated gift cards, pre-made meals and baked foods

Families at Jeneece Place received a surprise over the weekend, when players from the Comox Valley Chiefs donated gift cards, food and homemade baked goods days before Christmas.

“I think the idea of kids helping kids is really cool,” said team manager Trevor Pritoula, as players from the peewee A team toured the facility next to Victoria General Hospital on Sunday. “They [the kids] get it, they understand that their efforts can mean a lot to someone when they’re in that position.”

The team is participating in the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup, a national contest put on by Chevrolet and Hockey Canada to challenge peewee teams to make an impact in their community. The winning team receives a ceremony in its hometown, practice with a hockey ambassador and $15,000 to be donated to their charity of choice.

Through a bottle drive and other fundraisers, the Chiefs raised roughly $1,500 during the past month, which was donated to You Are Not Alone (YANA), which helps Comox Valley families that need to travel to access medical treatment for their children. The money was then used to purchase gift cards, pre-made meals, toiletries and video games, which were donated to families at Jeneece Place.

Kristina Maximick is one of 10 people who will benefit from the donation. The Comox Valley resident has been living at Jeneece Place for the past two months, after learning her babies are monoamniotic twins, a condition in which they share the same amniotic sac. However, their umbilical cords can get tangled, resulting in a high-risk pregnancy in which only 50 per cent of twins survive.

Maximick gave birth to two healthy twin girls, but will continue to live at Jeneece Place for the foreseeable future.

“It’s amazing. It’s a very thoughtful act of kindness and much appreciated because you don’t always have time to prepare things to eat,” Maximick said of the donation. Her son, Walker, also played with the Chiefs two years ago.

For the players involved, the initiative has left a lasting impression. “It made me feel great because I really like giving to other people,” said 11-year-old forward Morgan Jackson.

The team will be submitting a one-minute video to Hockey Canada for the Good Deeds Cup by Dec. 31. The winner will be selected in the new year.

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