BJP Foundation ought to be a fundraising focus for sports-minded West Island parents
Sometimes, a great idea can sprout from the muck of misery.
I can't imagine losing one of my children to an accident. The idea often keeps me awake at night, and I make a point of trying to chase those horrible thoughts from my head before they can take hold into a form of serious distraction. It's a nightmare – sometimes a waking one.
Pierrefonds resident Teri-Anne Feilders has lived that nightmare and risen above it. Her son, Benjamin Pelletier, a six-year-old bundle of excitement, passion and humour dies last May 13th in a tragic accident. If that date doesn't mean anything to you, that's not surprising. It was, however, the date of Mother's Day in 2012.
So, it would be understandable if Teri-Anne Feilders had retreated into a shell of despair – I know I probably would have – but she didn't. This amazing woman took the pain that life had given her and turned into a way to have her son live on forever, though other children and their sports activities.
Feilders founded the Benjamin Joseph Pelletier Foundation in honour of her late son, who loved hockey more than anything and was so passionate about his pre-sunrise Pierrefonds mites hockey practices that he helped everyone else in the locker room rise and shine a little faster thanks to his boundless enthusiasm and relentless good nature. The foundation's mission is to help West Island kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it the chance to play amateur sports, with a particular focus on hockey.
It's a good thing, too. With a registration fee that can often climb into the mid-three-digits, along with equipment, tournament and transportation costs factored in, hockey is among the most expensive team sports one can participate in.
It's also the first foundation of its particular kind in the West Island. Some non-profit agencies quietly fund some activities for kids, but a charity whose entire raison d'etre is to help underprivileged local kids enjoy the physical activitiy, bonding experience and sheer joy of amateur sports, is an entire proposition entirely. For those of us who feel as though West Island sports helped shape us as people, there is really no better organization to support – especially if you have kids.
Not ot mention Fielders' quiet resolve and unbelievable bravery. Instead of letting her grief control her, she's getting control of her grief. She confessed last week in a telephone interview that launching the foundation has helped keep her sane, but it occurred to me that a strong presence at the BJP Foundation's inaugural event, a Donate to Skate family event to be held May 5 at the Sportplexe 4 Glaces in Pierrefonds from 2:15 to 4:15, might help even more. It's a worthy event, and if Feilders is going to raise the $10,000 she's hoping to bring in, then those of us who can and would like to support a campaign like this, can and should support it. There will be a ton of prizes, extra fun stuff for the kids, a silent auction of all kinds of fun hockey stuff and – best of all—you'll know that you’re helping honour the memory of a little boy who loved hockey as much as anything.
Don't miss it. And bring your chequebook.