Above Morinville Kings President Wayne Gatza presents the Brenda Stewart Family Spirit Award to the Blundon/Baker family: Daniel, Amy, Sam and Harper. – submitted photo
by Gene Connors Sturgeon Hockey Club President
In 2017, Brenda Stewart, the Registrar and Director of Communications for the Sturgeon Hockey Club, passed away unexpectedly. Brenda not only held a major role in the association but also the greater role of being a loving and devoted spouse to our past president, and current Morinville Kings owner, Wayne Gatza.
When Brenda came into Wayne’s life in 2009 with not having any kids of her own, it was far from her mind to ever join or much less be a member of a minor hockey association. However, with her generous nature and kind soul, she stood by Wayne’s side and together, they lived the hockey life.
She learned everything she could about the game while making it her own brand and exceeding all expectations in her volunteer roles within the association. She adopted the “hockey mom” mentality and had nothing short of the hockey spirit. There wasn’t one family that she didn’t know, one name she couldn’t remember and very rarely did she forget scores and stats of members of her own loving family. She also stepped up and ran the concession on behalf of the Morinville Kings while spending every weekend out of that window watching any game being played on the ice. Her dedication and devotion to the association was seen through everything she did, all without asking or complaining. If asked, she would simply say she did it all for the kids.
In Brenda’s honour, the Sturgeon Hockey Club presents the Brenda Stewart Family Spirit Memorial Award yearly to a Sturgeon hockey family who have proven that they are committed to the well-being of the association.
This year’s recipients have demonstrated their dedication and loyalty to the association through their volunteerism and their willingness to help out and assist the club on a daily basis for the past several years. This is truly a complete family effort.
Daniel, Amy, Sam and Harper spend countless hours at the arena assisting with tryouts, all things equipment and Sturgeon swag. Both Amy and Dan hold Executive and Director roles in the club as the treasurer and Equipment Director, respectively. Amy also takes on leadership roles in all SHC tournaments and as a parent of Sam and Harper’s teams. Daniel has been a head coach in SHC for the past several years and is currently the head coach of Sam’s U13 team this season and assists with Harper’s Intro team as well. While at the arena and in the community, Sam and Harper represent the Sturgeon Hockey Club with pride, sportsmanship, and true hockey class.
When I think of this family, I think they are the embodiment of giving from the heart, and their exceptional level of community involvement stands as an example for others to emulate. They make a difference every single day in the lives of everyone they meet. They have and continue to touch the lives of many. Their seemingly boundless energy and genuine desire and determination to make a difference is truly inspiring. Most importantly, Amy and Daniel have taught their children the importance of selfless service, working together as a team and assisting those who might need a little pick-me-up. Daniel, Amy, Sam and Harper are viewed as a huge asset and role models to the other families of SHC.
It is for all these reasons and more that this year’s recipients of the Brenda Stewart Memorial Award are the Blundon/ Baker family.
A large contingent of Sturgeon Mustang, Fillies and Sting players came out in support of the Morinville Kings Brenda Stewart Memorial Game on Saturday, Nov. 5. – submitted photo