As anticipation grows for this year’s MasterCard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon so too does the excitement level for nine valued CHL billet families, which have been chosen from a long list of entries as semifinalists for the Dodge Family All Stars contest.
And now those nine families need your help.
Visit DodgeFamilyAllStars.com to find bios of the nine finalists and cast a vote for your favourite CHL billet family. The winning family from the WHL, OHL and QMJHL will represent its respective League in Saskatoon with one leaving town the proud owner of a 2013 Dodge Caravan.
Those families aren’t the only ones with a chance to win big either. By casting your vote you will have the opportunity to win 2013-14 seasons tickets for your local CHL team.
The CHL couldn’t operate without the help of billet families, some of which have taken in players for as many as 30 years. This is your chance to reward their selfless contributions to junior hockey.
Here is a brief introduction to, and story from, each of the nine Dodge Family All-Stars semifinalists:
WHL – 3 Semi Finalists
Kelly and Dan Snowden – Regina Pats
“I thought I would try it out (billeting) for camp that first year and see how it went. I have not looked back. We love hockey and it is so much more fun to watch the games when you know the players . A big part of it too, is providing a place where the players' parents know that their kids are in a safe place and that we care. And I have been told my cookies are legendary. How can you not want to make cookies when your cookies are legendary?”
Bruce & Natalie Primeau - Lethbridge Hurricanes
“The boys come into our home as another teenager growing up with the same responsibilities, love and pride of being a Primeau. Those that have left agree, "once a Primeau, always a Primeau". From nicknames, to rides, to enjoying being a part of the other children's soccer, volleyball, hockey (back in the day), basketball or gymnastics, our players are a part of each of our kids' activities as we are a part of theirs.”
Shirley Maloney - Moose Jaw Warriors
“After billeting for 33 years we feel we have adapted a lot of sons. Our most important rule is the "Stay in touch" rule, and most of our billets have done just that. The best feeling you could have is picking up the phone one day and listening to " Hi Shirl, I’m just driving down the interstate in South Carolina and was remembering those juicy steaks Bill used to barbeque me for my pre game meal!" Or answering the door and receiving a big hug from one of our past billets. This is what makes billeting all worthwhile, making a difference in someone's life, and a lasting friendship that you will never forget!”
OHL – 3 Semi Finalists
Terry and Jonna Easterby - Sarnia Sting
“If our dog Lance could talk, I can only imagine the memories he could share, with us or on his Twitter account the boys created for him, @lancethedog18….We embrace our billeting experience as an opportunity to learn and to meet new friends. Every day we share new, interesting and sometimes challenging experiences as they grow into young men. We've come to the belief that junior hockey players may be one of the most interesting and most adaptive kids around. Our home been filled with an international flavour of languages: Swedish, Czech, Slovakian, Danish, French and hockey….We realize junior hockey is a huge experience but just one stop in their life.”
The Hughes Family - Windsor Spitfires
“Terri and I originally wanted to become foster parents. We felt we could provide a loving caring home for children or young adults that needed to experience a family environment. We wanted to try and make a difference to children who needed assistance….Our family has truly grown by 3. Sometimes I feel sorry for Terri as she is surrounded by 5 and sometimes 6 boys. I know she loves every minute we are all together….When you live in the Hughes home you become a member of the Hughes family…it is that simple. “
Shannon Elzein - Ottawa 67's
“I am a single mom and felt it would be a great thing to have someone in the home my son could look up to who is going to school and playing hockey just like he is. Having three of us in our home really makes it feel like "home" here. The experience has really given back not only to my son, but to me as well. It is a big investment but the rewards are worth it…. The players that live here are family. They are included in everything we do, every meal we eat together and any activity we are doing that they feel like participating in.”
QMJHL – 3 Semi Finalists
Serge Perron - Rimouski Oceanic
“Today with Facebook, we are always in touch with past players who have lived with us and are even in touch with their friends who played with them on the team…every year we meet extraordinary young players who all bring such great strength and knowledge to our family. The respect that they show us and their love of life make us appreciate, each year, the decision which we made 4 years ago. ”
Pat and Bill Moore - P.E.I. Rockets
“We have 5 children and none were involved in hockey even though my husband and I are big hockey fans….We continue to add to our number of players in our family as our children leave the nest, we have come to the conclusion that we are not ready to be empty nesters, we love our home to be filled with action….We also open up our home to their families if they are in town we want their families to know us and the home that their child lives in. Our home is also open to their friends and teammates as well.”
Robin Gaudreault - Chicoutimi Sagueneens
“We have been fans of Junior Hockey for many years and we have had Saguenéens seasons tickets for 7 years! These are young athletes who overflow with talent and need our support and our encouragements….Our players have immediately fit right into our family life from the moment they step inside our home.”
The three winning Billet Families will be recognized at the CHL Awards, in conjunction with the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon, while also participating in an on-ice celebration. The lucky Billet Family that holds the key that starts the engine will walk away with a brand new 2013 Dodge Grand caravan!
It takes a community to raise a hockey family, and these families need your support. Visit www.dodgefamilyallstars.com to vote for your favorite Billet Family and help them become one step closer to winning a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan! Your vote will also enter you for the chance to win one of three pairs of season tickets for the 2013-14 season to the CHL team nearest you!
Show your support. VOTE for a chance to WIN today at www.dodgefamilyallstars.com