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In Canada, one child out of every five is at risk of starting the school day on an empty stomach. In aboriginal communities, that ratio is 1 in 2.

Family Matters

For Carey and Angela Price family comes first, hockey second

By Jason Santerre

Family and hockey. They go together like sticks and pucks. One is lost without the other. Ask just about any professional hockey player about their road to the NHL, and many well up with tears detailing the sacrifices made by parents and siblings to help them achieve their ultimate goal.

Carey Price is no different. And yet his route to the big league was pretty unique. At the age of three, Carey and his parents, Lynda and Jerry, moved 900 km from Vancouver to Anahim Lake (population 360). Soon after, Carey’s sister Kayla was born and his mother became chief of the area’s Ulkatcho First Nation. Indeed, life in Anahim Lake was about as far removed — geographically and aesthetically speaking — from Montreal as can be.

And yet, a dream of playing in the NHL wasn’t that far-fetched. After all, Carey’s dad was a goaltender. Jerry was even drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, 126th overall, in the 1978 NHL draft. Although he never played in the NHL, he knew what it took to make it, so he built a backyard rink as soon as Carey could skate. “When we were kids, Carey decided to put me in net,” said sister Kayla in a story for Kamloops This Week. “He was taking light shots at me, but my stick was at a tilt and one puck shot off the blade and hit me straight in the nose.” After stemming the flow of blood, Carey took over in net for good. Perhaps Canadiens’ fans owe Kayla a show of gratitude.

According to all accounts, Carey was a good student with a heap of natural ability. Eventually, he wanted to join a league and play against boys his age. Unfortunately for père et fils, the closest thing to organized hockey was over 300 kilometres away. In what is now an almost mythic show of parental devotion, Jerry bought a $13,000 four-seat Piper to fly Carey to practices and games. At last, Jerry’s pilot license was going to be put to use.

Today, Carey and wife Angela have started their own family. Just this past May, the newest member of the Price family, Liv Anniston, was born. There’s nothing like fatherhood to put things in perspective. And there’s no doubt Carey, now 29 years old, married with child, and at the pinnacle of his profession, wants to give back.

Enter the Breakfast Club of Canada (BCC), an organization that, in essence, provides access to healthy food for children in schools and communities across Canada, including Anahim Lake, BC. “We had been asking around about how needy families were being fed in the area and the Breakfast Club came up,” says Angela. “We’re passionate about helping and encouraging youth, especially when it comes to health and what they put in their bodies.”

Poor nutrition not only increases a child’s risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, there’s also the risk of mental health problems, not to mention anxiety and trouble concentrating in school, according to the BCC. Indeed, a balanced breakfast is fuel for learning.

In Canada, one child out of every five is at risk of starting the school day on an empty stomach. In aboriginal communities, that ratio is 1 in 2. Naturally, because of Carey’s aboriginal roots, the cause is even more dear to his heart. “We thought it was a great opportunity to help in all the communities that we call home or have called home,” he says.

In his boyhood home of Anahim Lake, great progress has been made since the Prices and BCC got involved. “It’s amazing. The kids are going to school so that they can eat,” says Carey. “And to be able to fly the kids from out west and give them a VIP experience in Montreal was pretty special,” he says, adding that the kids would never have the opportunity to travel, let alone see a professional hockey game. “It really shows those kids that anything is possible.”

“With Carey and Angela Price on our side, our team’s impact will be greater than ever,” says the Breakfast Club of Canada president and founder, Daniel Germain. “Together, we will be much more effective in letting people know about the important work we do and getting the entire community on board.”

To find out more about the Breakfast Club of Canada and how you can help make sure your community’s kids get a balanced breakfast to start their school day, visit www.breakfastclubcanada.org

 

Fall 2016, Vol 8 N°4

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