Colorado Avalanche players JT Compher and Gabriel Landeskog participated in the latest Break the Ice event, a special meeting for the Charity Brunch kids.
The Colorado Avalanche host several community events throughout the season. One is the Break the Ice event. Children get to take to the ice at Pepsi Center with players and other organizational members, such as the Ice Patrol and Bernie the mascot.
Earlier this month, J.T. Compher, Gabriel Landeskog, and his wife Melissa hosted a special Break the Ice event. For this Break the Ice, they hosted children who have taken part or will be taking part in the annual Charity Brunch and Fashion Show.
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Kroenke Sports Charities, along with Avs Better Halves and Cigna, are presenting the brunch this year. Each Avalanche player is paired with a child who has overcome a medical challenge.
The children are given a budget for an outfit to wear that evening. The brunch starts with players meeting their charges before serving brunch to attendees.
The event culminates in a fashion show when the children walk down a catwalk with the players.
So, the Break the Ice event earlier this month allowed these children and their families to skate on Pepsi Center ice. Many of the kids have ice skating experience, but many of them are newbies.
Here is one of the videos the social media team put together:
A highlight for me from this video is watching the captain show the kids some hockey skills. He even gets into the net and plays goal! By his own admission, it’s not really his forte. However, he does get reunited with Porter, one of the many children he’s been paired with for the Charity Brunch.
Shoutout to his admission that he’s been in the penalty box “many times” — wife Melissa opines “a little too much.”
JT Compher is also very good with the kids. I’m impressed that he A) knows how to comment on a little girl’s attire, and B) knows what a tutu is. But then, he does have two sisters.
He also drilled down the point of that particular Break the Ice event:
"“The point of today is to take [their] mind off whatever’s going on in their life, just like we do at the Charity Brunch. Just seeing them enjoy it with their families, siblings, friends, whoever they brought out, and just take a break from it all.”"
Landeskog talks about how good it is to see some of the families again from past Charity Brunches. His wife is very active in the Avs Better Halves, and I’m sure the Landeskogs are well-versed with all the families, not just the ones with which Gabe has specifically been paired.
What’s more, Gabe points out that the connections they make at these events last for more than just the one day. Indeed, former Av Matt Duchene famously became friends with the entire Anderson family after being paired with Haven at a Charity Brunch.
Another former Av, Jamie McGinn, will forever be a favorite to a friend’s of mine’s kid because of a Charity Brunch pairing.
I don’t know if these players always realize how just a few moments of their time can make such a huge impact in other people’s lives.
Anyway, here’s some more footage of the Break the Ice event:
Bernie went down. Unrelated, Compher is being terrorized by some of the children.
No, these Break the Ice events are a great community outreach by the Colorado Avalanche. They look like so much fun. I know that many teams conduct similar events, but they always seem so wholesome and entertaining from the Avs.