Friday, March 25, 2011

"C" Stands for more than Captain

From a walk on at Warriors Training Camp in 2009 to Warriors Captain and top six forward in 2010, you could say Warrior Spencer Edwards knows just how far commitment and determination can go in life. Spencer Edwards takes nothing for granted and has carried the same mind set in his community efforts.

On top of his 40 hours of volunteer work this season, Spencer was passionate enough about his role as Captain and the Moose Jaw community to propose his very own community initiative. Entitled “Captain’s Care” Spencer wanted to create a program that would be passed on from generation to generation of Captain. Spencer visited sick kids at the Moose Jaw Union Hospital throughout the 10/11 season. In true “Edwards” fashion, Spencer didn’t just stop in and sign a few autographs; he spent hours playing games or simply just talking to patients who needed some cheering up. On one occasion, a ten year old girl was only minutes away from being air lifted to Saskatoon for emergency heart surgery. She was anxiously awaiting Spencer’s arrival and in full gown, gloves and mask, Spencer assured her that the helicopter ride would not be frightful. The little girl touched his heart so deeply; he purchased a Warriors Morty doll out of his own pocket and mailed it to Saskatoon for the young girl.

During the Warriors “Get Gutsy” campaign for Crohn’s and Colitis, the players were challenged by the fans to perform gutsy challenges. Spencer committed to trying out speed skating in front of the fans. Spencer slapped on the speed skates and did his very best while helping raise $1000.00 that night—raising over $3000.00 over the three night fundraiser.

In 2009, Spencer led the way in shaving his head for cancer and this season was the first player to start sporting his moustache in support of prostate cancer. Never needing to be asked, Spencer takes it upon himself to find ways, big or small to make a difference.

Spencer took part in the first ever partnership with John Chisholm School (an alternative school for high school students who struggle from the effects of drugs, alcohol and behaviour issues). Spencer had monthly discussions with the students focusing on topics such as rules, behaviour, goals, overcoming challenges and drugs. He even stayed to play basketball and games. Spencer opened up to the students and embraced the experience. Often times the visits would not only be impactful for the students but also for Spencer. Hearing their stories and experiences was something that will stay with him for a lifetime.

Not only does Spencer always have time for a fan young or old, he has made a special connection in Moose Jaw. One young fan became particularly enthralled when Spencer skated over during a family skate to the young girl who had forgotten her skates. Spencer skated around with her in his arms for the rest of the skate. Ever since, the young fan makes sure she never misses a game and has a special wave for Spencer. Spencer often takes time after a game to visit with his young fan.

There are many ways to give back to a community. It can be monetarily, but sometimes the best way is by giving your heart. Spencer has shared his love for hockey and life in every way. In just two seasons, Spencer has been embraced by the Warriors fans and City. The “C” on his chest not only stands for Captain but for caring and compassion- words that fittingly describe the Warriors nominee for Humanitarian of the Year.

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