Kaniusis Family Oilers VIP experience and Oilers/Blue Jays Party at Galaxyland
As part of Geo's 4th memorial in May 2017, we were introduced to two young boys from Rocky Mountain House, Jaxon (7 years old), and Kessler (4 years old). On November 21 2014, they tragically lost their mother Chloe in a collision with a habitual drunk driver. Their grandmother, Chloe's mother Brenda, was in the vehicle with her daughter that day and on top of being severely injured in the crash, she had to witness her child being killed right in front of her eyes. After Chloe's passing her parents Brenda and Mel, and husband Larry, were left with the impossible task of helping Jax and Kess journey through their new lives without their beloved mother. We felt immediately drawn to these adorable young brothers as they reminded us of Geo and Quentin. Their ages are virtually identical and they love each other to pieces just like G & Q did :) We wanted to do something really special for them that they would never forget. We contacted their grandmother Brenda and she told us that the boys are huge sports fans and love hockey and baseball. If it doesn't have anything to do with the Edmonton Oilers or Toronto Blue Jays, then Jax and Kess aren't interested lol. So we invited their family down to Edmonton for a fun filled weekend at WEM and held an Oilers/ Blue Jays themed party for them at Galaxyland. After showering the boys with sports gifts it came time for the real surprise. Jax and Kess were getting an exclusive Oilers VIP experience! Their whole family got to go to Rogers Place and watch a game from a members only private theater box with all the bells and whistles included; unlimited food and drink, parking pass, private entrance etc. The Oilers must have been feeling the love coming from that theater box that night as they went on to pummel the Canucks 5-3. In closing we have one last small request for the Oilers. Please bring the cup home this year for Jax and Kess!
● Janelle Neufeld and the rest of the staff at The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation for your extremely generous gift of the Oilers VIP experience for the Kaniusis and Brown family.
● Gregory Johnson and the rest of the staff at the Fantasyland Hotel in WEM for giving us a great rate on the theme room for the Kaniusis and Brown family and ensuring they had a wonderful stay.
● Darcy Hewson, Britney, and the rest of the staff at Galaxyland for giving us a great rate on day passes and providing a party room for us.
● Leila, owner of Passion Sucree bakery, for giving us a great deal on a beautiful and delicious cake for the sports party. The boys absolutely loved it!
● Jason Hills, president of the Edmonton chapter of MADD, for all your help and support for our charity and for always being a great friend.
● The law firm Hajduk and Gibbs for your very generous donation of $2500 to be put towards the gift for the new family on Geo's 5th memorial in 2018.
A Special Thank You From Brenda & Family
Our hearts have felt love, kindness, and charity at a time when we were truly broken. We are forever grateful to the Mounsef family for making us the 2017 recipients of The Geo Foundation bequest. Our grandsons lost their beautiful mommy Chloe on November 21, 2014, and we lost our child, to a drunk driver. Like the Mounsef family, we know that finding joy is elusive at best. The wonderful events they made possible for Jaxon and Kessler will never be forgotten. When George first called to give me the good news, he asked about the boys, and what they loved. I told him that my grandsons love anything baseball or hockey! They are huge Oilers and Blue Jays fans, and both are active in both sports. What was to come at the end of June was amazing! Two nights for Mel and I, and the boys at Fantasyland Hotel, then Saturday, lunch at Boston Pizza with George and his family. Larry, the boys' father, joined us for lunch, then it was on to Galaxyland where we met new friends and enjoyed the rides. At 3 o’clock, we arrived at a party room and were met with a wonderful surprise! Cake and treats, decorations, and lots of presents. The boys received Oilers and Blue Jays jerseys, hats, and t-shirts, and the best gift of all; a giant card, indicating that we would be given an Oilers VIP experience in September! By then we knew that our two families would become life long friends. Our hearts were immediately connected through our tragedy. On Friday, September 22nd, we walked into Rogers Place with Larry and the boys, not quite knowing what to expect. Our tickets read 'theatre seats'! We knew that was something special! We definitely felt like VIP’s and we are so grateful for this unforgettable experience.
We think of Geo all the time, and know that our Chloe
has wrapped her loving arms around him, showing him that heaven, he and she will forever be close to one another.
Thank you George, Quentin, Sage, Randa, and Livio – we love you.
Brenda & Mel Brown, Jaxon Kessler & Larry Kaniusis