MUSKOKA - Owen Brasi’s a pretty typical kid.
Eight-year-old Owen Brasi of the Northstar Aluminum South Muskoka Novice Bears dreamed up and helped organize a fundraising effort for the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto that earned $6,400.
Photo by Neil Etienne
The 8-year-old, Macaulay Public School Grade 3 student’s smile reveals a few missing teeth; he’s thrilled to see the NHL back on television and his favourite team is San Jose in the hunt for a Stanley Cup; he likes comics and video games, bubble gum and playing defence for the Northstar Aluminum South Muskoka Novice Bears sporting No.9 for his favourite player, Rocket Richard (even though he hisses at the thought of ever cheering for the Canadiens).
But the young fellow did give his parents pause before Christmas.
“He just came home from school one day and said ‘I don’t want anything for Christmas’,” mother Jaymie Brasi said. “We said, ‘are you sure?’. Hhe’s only eight and he didn’t want Santa to get him anything and we weren’t too sure what to think about that.
“He said what he wanted instead is to raise money for SickKids (hospital in Toronto),” she explained. “I don’t know where it came from, it was just out of the blue; he simply didn’t want anything but for Santa to help him help the kids.”
Owen and his parents, including father Johannes, set up an online donation page, organized with the South Muskoka Minor Hockey Association officials to donate gate proceeds, rallied his Bears novice clubs teammates and coaches, held a couple of raffles and in a matter of barely two weeks leading into Christmas, had raised a whopping $6,400 to hand over to the hospital.
Owen just smiles and nods when asked about his generosity and spirit.
“It was fun,” he said. “I just wanted to help some of the kids get the tools they need to get better; I just wanted to help.”
He said he saw advertising on television about the hospital and that’s how he knew they needed help.
Owen said he got to travel to the hospital and meet some of its officials to hand over the cheque. He was also taken to a Barrie Colts game where the team and the fan-filled stands gave the young Bracebridge man a round of applause when he was shown on the jumbo-tron during an intermission and the public announcer told everyone what he had done.
“He was pretty much in awe of all of that,” Jaymie said, adding Owen was also treated to a Toronto Marlies game for his efforts.
Young Brasi says he might try to raise more funds again in the future for SickKids, but at this point wants to get his head back into the game on ice, as his novice Bears wind down their regular season this month.
“And in the end, even though Owen didn’t want anything, Santa still decided to come,” Jaymie said.