For two members of the Humboldt Broncos killed in the horrific crash in April 2018, the Okanagan was a summer oasis.
Logan Hunter, 18, and Jaxon Joseph, 20, grew up St. Albert, Alta. and both came here often.
“The boys loved the lake and being in the water. Jaxon’s parents had a place in Osoyoos Lake and my parents had a place in Naramata so we did lots of boating, lots of fruit and all the things that we love about the Okanagan, I mean what’s not to love in the summer here,” said Logan’s stepmother Ginny, who now lives in Kaleden with her husband, where they moved five months before the accident.
On Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre Ginny and Jaxon’s father Chris, an Edmonton Oilers alumni, is presenting $1,000 bursaries to a pair of deserving youth from the South Okanagan in memory of their sons.
Chris Joseph will be among the many players taking part in the NHL Alumni charity hockey game that is part of the inaugural South Okanagan Pics & Sticks hosted by Canadian country music star Gord Bamford and former NHL player Kevin Primeau, now an Osoyoos realtor.
“Obviously Logan participated in a lot of community sports growing up and we want to give something back to this community,” said Ginny. “Although it’s not the one he grew up in, he spent quite a bit of time here, so it’s just giving back to the community in honour of Logan and Jaxon because I know there are kids out there that could use this, that need this.
“The thought is that if this catches on, we’re going to add additional bursaries and put it in other boys’ (who died in the accident) names. We’ve had nothing amazing support from all of Canada the world, everyone has been so supportive so to give back.”
Both hosts have their own foundations. The Gord Bamford Foundation has raised over $3 million for youth. It’s come together with the recently established About the Kids Matter Foundation, organized through Primeau Properties, for this event.
“Obviously my connection with hockey was a big part of it, I coached Chris Joseph and worked on the ice a few times with his son Jaxon, so there’s a connection there,” said Primeau. “I think it is part of the healing process for the families. They’re all at different places with this—if they can be doing something that can be seen as remembering their sons I think it’s pretty significant for them.
“We’re just hoping that with these scholarships, at least once a year, people will remember the Humboldt families and a local kid can get help with his education.”
Corrine Szepesi, Bamford Foundation manager, said establishing the bursaries will create a legacy to those who died.
“The Humboldt accident had a huge reach, it affected the whole world and we want to honour those families who lost their children in that horrific tragedy as well as support local youth,” she said.
The hockey game is just one part of the South Okanagan Pics & Sticks agenda which goes May 15 and 16. It also includes a golf tournament, banquet and country music concert.
Primeau said to qualify for the bursaries, applicants need only have a connection to a junior hockey team and desire to continue their education whether it be college, university or online, demonstrate a financial need and live or have lived in the South Okanagan.
“It can be the daughter of a broadcaster, family member, son or daughter. All of the people who were touched by this tragedy,” he said.
The deadline to apply is May 14 and full details and application forms can be found online at https://www.cfso.net/kids-matter-youth-foundation-bursary/
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