Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 08/28/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
THE countdown to the end of summer may be on but three Winnipeg Jets took full advantage of a warm, cloudless day to get in their swings and support a worthy cause.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd and teammates Blake Wheeler and Chris Thorburn were on the tee Wednesday at the Stars FORE Special O charity fundraising golf tournament at Glendale Golf and Country Club.
Support of the Special Olympics movement is an important element for Ladd. He has an uncle with Down Syndrome and his mother continues to work with special-needs kids in elementary school in B.C.
"I've been heavily involved with Special O first and foremost because I know it's an important event for them," said Ladd, who returned to Winnipeg from his off-season B.C. home for the tournament. "During the year it's tougher to make it out to these kinds of things. I had the time and I figured I'd come on in to help out.
"It's just been a big part of our life and something nice to be involved in. I think any time you spend time with these athletes, they're so genuine and excited about what they're doing, it leaves you with a really good feeling when you're hanging out with them."
Wheeler said since he was already back in Winnipeg from his off-season spent mainly in Florida, he was eager to help out one of Ladd's favourite causes.
"Just seeing the work Laddie has done with his time and efforts to bring awareness for this organization," Wheeler said.
"Over the last couple of years I know he's been trying to round up some guys to help him out and any time you can help somebody when they're doing such a good job for a worthwhile cause, it's worth your time to get out here and try to help them out."
Raising money to help support Special Olympics activities was a primary goal Wednesday, but so was athletes just hanging out with athletes, the Jets players said.
"It makes you feel good what they're trying to do," Wheeler said. "You see how excited they are to meet us and that kind of connection that you can kind of have with what they're trying to do.
"They're no different than we are. They're trying to go out and do their best every day and achieve their goals, so that's always fun no matter what level you're at, professionally or whatever it might be. Everyone has goals they're trying to achieve and they're working for it every day.
"To see them achieve some of those goals, that makes everything worthwhile."
Sharing stories is a key part of the golf day, Ladd said.
"It's nice to just mingle and to meet athletes," he said.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 28, 2014 D5
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Jets blue-liner Clitsome says he's recovered from injury
No sweat, Stuart back on ice soon
Maurice has Buff's back
Bogo's goal is to stay healthy all season
Jets starting season with fresh slate, says Ladd
Save percentage 1.000
Jets left-winger happy in the here and now
Love potion No. 9
Jets training camp kicks off
'They've come to perform'
Defence-first policy crucial for Jets to gain ground in playoff hunt
Maurice has influence, pedigree to make Winnipeg a contender
Maurice promises 'an exciting, very aggressive brand of hockey'
Is a playoff berth realistic or do the Jets have too many unsolved questions?
Is change brewing in Jetsville?
Scratching a seven-year itch
Vigier analyzes Maurice's likely impact as Jets head coach
Jets announce training schedule
This Ehlers kid can play a bit
Winnipeg Jets Notebook
Club high on Hutchinson
Players getting cranked for camp
Jet prospects prevail 5-4 in a shootout over Oilers
Jets to hold Fan Fest to kick off hockey season
Maurice will push players to maximum
Taking no chances with Ehlers
Slick Nic turns on red light
Petan leads young Jets to OT win over Canucks