The 2016 Family Hockey Jamboree, which organizers said was the best yet, benefitted a Maple Ridge family that has been hit by cancer.
Jayme Chmiliar has been batting cancer, and his family, with two teen sons in minor hockey, is well known around local rinks.
The boys took part, each playing on one of the eight three-on-three teams in a unique tournament, that saw players as old as 60 competing with kids as young as seven.
“It was a great success, with an awesome turnout,” said organizer Penny Butler, noting that friends, family, colleagues and local businesses were generous with their contributions at the pub night fundriaser at the Breakaway Pub, upstairs at Planet Ice.
The event typically raises about $6,000, but this year’s exceeded that considerably. The exact number is still being tallied, said Butler.
“We’re all personal friends of the Chmiliars, so that made a difference,” said Butler. “They are just a wonderful family.”
“There are no words to express the gratitude we have for everyone who has participated in this event and the overwhelming support we have received from everyone. Thank you to everyone who has put so much work into putting this event together, you are amazing,” Brenda Chmiliar said in a statement from the family.
She said the family was also “blown away” by the number of people who supported the family in the essay contest, which would have led to a non-traditional cancer treatment valued at $17,000.
Jayme has tumours in his head, sarcomatoid myoepithelial carcinoma it is called, which have spread to his lymph nodes and lungs. They weren’t selected for the treatment, but Brenda’s essay about the effect the cancer has had on her family, and her husband’s bravery in the face of it, resonated with the many in the community who read it online.
“We are so proud to part of this community that we have spent so many early mornings, late nights and crazy weekends with,” wrote Brenda. “We are grateful you are all our friends. We are so sorry that you all had to pay to come to this event, but from the bottom of our hearts, we are so glad you came – it is here, having fun with all of you, is where we want to be.”