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Despite the fact that Breakfast Club of Canada has been active in Kelowna for several years, it seems that the national charity has largely flown under the radar locally. But all that is about to change, thanks in part to Canadian hockey superstar, Carey Price. The Olympic gold medal winner has joined forces with BCC to help bring awareness to child poverty and hunger, promoting the program that helps feed breakfast to some 150,000 children across Canada.
(Photo: KelownaNow) Montreal Canadiens goaltender,Carey Price spent much of the evening signing autographs and posing for photos with Kelowna hockey fans, including TJ of 103.9 EZ Rock and Maxine DeHart.
Price was the star power force that brought industry leaders from across the country to Kelowna on Wednesday evening for a reception at Tantalus Vineyards, marking a new era for Breakfast Club of Canada in BC.
“This is the beginning of the community in British Columbia taking ownership of what BCC is doing for and in our community already. It’s the beginning of awareness of an issue in our province and country, and the beginning of taking part in the issue of solving child hunger and poverty,” explained Renee Wasylyk, board member with BCC, in a passionate speech at the event.
The charity is now in its 20th year and it will have served 22-million breakfasts to children in schools across Canada this year. In BC, the charity has been making its way across the province for the past four years, with continued plans to reach out to First Nations communities and other children in need, including in Price’s hometown of Anahim Lake in northern BC.
Price and his wife, Angela, have committed to support the Kelowna event annually for the next three years. But despite his incredible success in the net, Price remains humble and when Wasylyk thanked him for lending his celebrity to the cause, he suggested that “charisma” may be a better term.
“Daniel and the Breakfast Club of Canada have that same type of confidence, they bring the same enthusiasm that we brought to Sochi. He’s the actual charismatic guy in this group, not myself,” Price said of BCC founder, Daniel Germain. “They do so much good work in so many different communities... Being from a small community and seeing the effects of kids not eating and not really having much sense of hope in general, I can see the impact that this club has on those kids.”
Growing up in a remote northern community, Price has seen the effects that poor nutrition and skipped meals can have on children.
“I grew up in a place that was really 3 and a half hours away from any type of big town… Williams Lake is only 12,000 people and that was three hours away,” Price says of his experience in Anahim Lake. “For myself, personally, I had a great family and a great upbringing, but I’ve seen kids without the same types of homes and upbringing and it’s still like that today. Help doesn’t come easy out in those remote areas and the Breakfast Club of Canada really goes out and finds those places and really makes a big difference.”
Thanks to Carey and Angela Price’s involvement in the charity, it is likely that BCC will be able to make an even greater impact in the coming months and years. At the Wednesday reception, Rhonda Hymers and Leanne Kruger from RBC Dominion Securities representatives announced that the investment company would be donating $4,000 towards the cause. And, following the speeches, a First Nations business leader, Dave Tuccaro, pledged $10,000 to the Anahim Lake program in support of BCC and the First Nations community in the remote BC town.
(Photo: KelownaNow) Dave Tuccaro generously donated to Breakfast Club of Canada and shared a laugh with Carey and Angela Price.
Tuccaro has owned his own business for over 20 years and has been a driving force behind aboriginal business development for even longer. For his part, Tuccaro says that he has been involved in a breakfast program in his own isolated community of Ft. Chippewan, AB for fifteen years.
“For me, part of giving back to my community is in trying to ensure that our kids don’t go to school hungry in the morning. In many cases, in a lot of our communities, a lot of our kids go to school without any food in their stomachs at all,” said Tuccaro. “What you’re doing, Daniel and Carey, is something that’s required… And for you to go and do this in your own community, I would like to contribute $10,000.”
To get involved with Breakfast Club of Canada, through donations or volunteering, visit BreakfastClubCanada.org.