THUNDER BAY, ON — This past Wednesday the Thunder Bay Bantam AA Queens visited paediatric unit of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre with lots of toys in tow. “It was very heartwarming to go somewhere with all my best friends and make kids smile,” remarked Queens Captain Kendra Fortin. “It made us all realize how fortunate we are to be healthy young girls and be able to play sports when others cannot. Just by doing the littlest things can turn someone’s day around and that definitely needs to happen more often, especially over the holidays.” This sentiment wasn’t lost on Fortin’s teammates. “It made me understand that kids younger than us and our age are struggling with mental health issues.” Explained Queens goalie Lindsay Humeniuk, “As a community, we should try to help them and be supportive during the holiday season. Overall, it was a really rewarding experience.”
One by one the kids came in and were delighted to meet the Queens all wearing their uniform red polos, huge smiles and, of course, armed with toys! “Everyone that came in were very surprised by the generosity of the team,” said Queens Bantam AA Manager, Crystal Tustian. “It was very well received and the girls had a good time.”
The children in the paediatric unit left happy, including one little girl who grabbed a baby doll for her brand new baby sister born that very day. “It was lots of fun!” Exclaimed Queens forward Alexis Paddington before also realizing the teachable moment, “But it was also upsetting to see little kids younger then us having to go through that.” It wasn’t just a lesson of the why but also how, “I think it made all of us understand how we could give back to our community more, and realize how lucky we are.” Queens player, Julia Buchan, summed up nicely.
The Queens left lots of gifts behind for the paediatrics unit to give away to any children who came in.