The ask is all in the timing.
So when Kelly Hrudey tipped his glass for the final swig of his beverage Tuesday at the Edmonton Country Club, shook everyone’s hand around the table before he headed out, the moment was perfect.
“I’ve been waiting all day to ask this,” I said, with some trepidation in my voice. But, not much.
“Would you do it again next year?”
Then, Kelly gave me the look — the same look he focused on a puck coming towards him at bullet speed during his years in the National Hockey League as a goaltender.
“What? You’ve waited all afternoon to ask?” the Edmonton native quipped. “Of course I’ll be back.”
My eyes then fixed on Country Club general manager Alan Carter. He didn’t say a word, but nodded.
For the past four years, Kelly has driven from his Calgary home to host a round of golf to raise funds for the ATCO Edmonton Sun Christmas Charity Auction.
It’s a wonderful chance for hockey fans to share five hours — and some more time, of course, on the hospitable 19th hole — with Kelly, now a television hockey analyst and author.
It’s surprising to hear Kelly tell stories, including how shy he was when he broke into the NHL with the New York Islanders in the early 1980s. Now, with Hockey Night in Canada and Sportsnet, he’s seen by millions of hockey fans. 18-433 Christmas Auction Brochure_FINAL
Kelly shared other personal stories on Edmonton Country Club cart paths, fairways and greens.
An entertainer, absolutely.
Brian McNicoll says he has a soft spot for silent auctions and supports as many of them as he can.
When he saw Kelly’s package and details last fall in The Edmonton Sun, it was something he kept his eye on through the entire three days of the on-line auction.
When Brian secured the item — 18 holes of golf at the Country Club for two people — he only thought of one person to share it with.
Brian has one son David, who started golfing at age eight.
“I bought it and gave the package to David for part of his Christmas present last year,” Brian recalled at the aforementioned nineteeth hole.
“And, it was a great day.”
David, who lives in Calgary and drove up for the round, agreed it was a great day.
“It’s something we’d like to do again,” David says.
Tuesday’s golf gathering is one of many that were in last year’s auction. And, as co-ordinator Nic Good — the good guy, you know — are working hard in securing as many items and packages as we set are sights on raising $135,000.
Funds will be shared between three great local charities: the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton, Adopt-A-Teen and Catholic Social Services.
If you would like to join Kelly and the other 100 items we have so far, Nic would love to hear from you. His email is Nicholas.firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re set to raise funds so as many people as possible can enjoy the Christmas season.