All posts by Give Blood Play Hockey

Casey With Saku Koviu

Lifting Spirits for Casey

Lifting spirits for Casey – The Orange County Register

By JEFF MILLER

By JEFF MILLER
STAFF COLUMNIST
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

 

“I never dreamed this could grow into what it has grown into now,” Mary said. “By the end on Sunday, my cheeks hurt I was smiling so much. It was an amazing event.”

This year, they sold hats and T-shirts decorated with a wheeled logo and the words “Casey’s Wings,” the Detroit Red Wings being Casey’s favorite team. They cut hair for Locks of Love. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery showed up one day, sold nearly $1,000 worth of pizza, turned around and donated the money right back.

None of the Ducks players appeared, the team on the road at the time. But owner Henry Samueli was here, and how much more clout can a charity tournament have than a billionaire showing up just to have a look around?

Near one of the rinks, someone propped up a life-sized cutout of The World’s Most Interesting Man. Then, in thought bubble form, they wrote, “I don’t play hockey much, but when I do I play for Casey Strale.”

“He’s not here, but he is here,” Chris said of his first-born son. “His spirit’s here.”

To the cause, Chris gave his time, his effort and, listening to him talk on Sunday, his voice. It’s a lot of work helping stage a tournament that was supposed to be cut off at 90 teams but, with so many positive things going on, who could suddenly say “no”?

On Saturday, organizers presented scholarships to two of this year’s most inspiring volunteers. They also asked for a moment of silence for Casey.

The stillness was marked by the release of a bundle of red and white balloons – each carrying a handwritten message to Casey – and a giant Mylar “13,” his uniform number.

The balloons rose into the sky and then began drifting over the building, directly toward the Strales’ house six blocks away. Chris felt his knees noodle.

“He’s going home,” Chris remembered thinking. Then, he added, “I was a mess. I just grabbed my wife (Traci) and hung on.”

Shortly after Christmas, they will start preparing for next year’s Give Blood Play Hockey, 10 months in advance. The expectation is it will be the biggest one yet.

Casey certainly will do everything he can to make that happen.

“I’m humbled that he was my son,” Chris said. “Easy to let go? No. But I’m humbled. We’re humbled.”

You want to have a positive impact, lessen the suffering of others, make a difference? There couldn’t be a better time than right now. Why? Because we’re all still here.

Contact the writer: jmiller@ocregister.com

 

 

Kool way to AID

Kool Way to AID

In 2013,  many young Give Blood Play Hockey fans took to their neighborhoods and street corners to help kids fight cancer. LemonAid

Carla & Catherine Guertin (age 6) held a lemonade stand to raise money for Give Blood Play Hockey over the weekend. They chose to host the stand on the 13th in Memory of Casey Strale. These two angels raised $250 for CHOC.

Now that the summer is heating up, we will encourage our fans and supports to help the cause with putting on their own Lemon Aid Stand in support of CHOC and Give Blood Play Hockey!

 

Charley2013-Featured

CHOC Charley Award 2013

Give Blood Play Hockey Tournament founder Mary Quayle and founding  board member Julie Ruff were recent recipients of a coveted CHOC Children’s Charley Award as the Give Blood Play Hockey tournament was recognized as the CHOC Circle of Friends’ 2013 Volunteer Organization of the Year.

The Give Blood Play Hockey tournament was nominated for and won one of the seven awards presented at the mid-April gala, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point.

The Charley Award is named in honor of Charley Hester, a dedicated philanthropist who served on various boards of directors at CHOC from 1976-94.

“In February, the new wing of the hospital was dedicated and opened its doors to the first patients on the oncology floor,” Quayle said. “It was beyond our wildest dreams to see our hard work come to fruition.”