(Edmonton Sun column – February 15)
Steve Bluett knows time is against him and he could, very understandably, be recalling memories. But, that’s not Steve’s way of doing things.
He was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal brain cancer last summer — the same cancer Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip had.
Steve spent 35 years as a junior hockey statistician and loves the Edmonton Oilers. He has also been following the ATCO Edmonton Sun Christmas Charity Auction.
So, when he saw the package for dinner for 10 at Rogers Place in the Edmonton Oilers dressing room, hosted by Oilers Entertainment Group vice-chair Kevin Lowe, transportation from Rick at Platinum Limousines and group photos of some of the evening from professional photographer Kristy Caputo, there was only one thing Steve could do — bid on it!
“When I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, I had no idea what my future looked like in that moment and just how much time was on my side,” Steve said.
“What was really intriguing for me was this was one of these packages that was an experience to be lived.
“Not knowing what my destiny was going to be or how many more memories I’ll have the opportunity to cherish, I wanted to create at the time an opportunity for a lasting memory that can be shared with family and close friends so there would be something to look back on with fondness and a big smile.”
The package was put together by Natalie Minkler and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. When the online auction was held last November, it was the item that had the largest bid in the 200-plus packages.
“I was at a concert in St. Albert and checked my phone at the intermission to see how my bid was doing and found out I had the package.”
Steve, his wife Audrey and six friends made their way to Rogers Place Feb. 9 for dinner and to watch the Oilers and Anaheim Ducks on television.
Steve said seeing the Oiler dressing room, “This was truly an amazing night.
“Having everybody together in a limo, laughing and sharing their favourite stories and seeing the sparkle in everybody’s eyes and knowing everybody had a great time (was great.)
“It was extremely well organized and we thank everybody for their hard work and dedication to make this night special.”
Last year’s auction was aimed at creating as many experiences packages as we could.
We wanted to give something people can’t buy and something they will hopefully remember for many years.
Funds were equally disbursed between the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton, Adopt-A-Teen and Catholic Social Services.
All of us from the auction wish Steve and his family Godspeed in his journey.
Thank you for your support of the auction.
But more importantly, thank you for gently reminding us of the importance of finding experiences and creating new memories to share … no matter what the circumstance.