Saves for Seasons
Saves for Seasons~Tye Greschuk
In 2015 Rama Aces netminder, Tye Greschuk decided his last junior hockey season should be a meaningful one. He launched the Saves for Seasons campaign to raise money for the Seasons Centre for Grieving Children in Barrie.
The personable goalie vowed to donate $1 for every save he made to the organization that helped his family in its time of need. When Greschuk was in Grade 10, his mom died following a lengthy illness.
“It was awful, but I was 15 at the time and I was kind of able to deal with it,” said Greschuk, now 21. “But for my sister, she was just 11 and it seemed to hit her harder. As an older brother, I didn’t know what to say or how to help and my dad found it really tough.”
Thankfully, they found Seasons, which provides peer to peer support groups for children aged 5 to 24 who are grieving the death or life-threatening illness of an immediate family member. It helped Greschuk and his sister, Paige, deal with the devastating loss of their mother.
“They helped take my sister off a dark road and brought light back into her life,” said Greschuk. “It was something our family will never forget.”
Pictured are Tye and Paige Greschuk along with Rama team mate, Jesse Hancock presenting a cheque for $1,963 to Errin Reilly, Development Assistant at Seasons Centre. The Aces goalie anted up $661 — one dollar for every save he made. But many others were also inspired to contribute.
Even though the Aces folded at the end of last season, its one-time owner and general manager, Pat Geary, contributed to the cause, as did the owners of the Temiscaming Titans, the team that ousted the Aces in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
“After Temiscaming eliminated us from the playoffs, I had a chance to meet their ownership group and their coaches and, at that point, they told me they were making a donation to Seasons on my behalf, which was just one of the coolest moments “¦ To have this expand to another province and just to see all the support was incredible,” he said.
“I am just so thankful for the support,” said Greschuk, who noted the cheque presentation was an emotional moment.
“A lot of people might expect it to be a sad place, but for us, it’s a place of happy memories,” he said of Seasons. “In the room that we made the presentation, on the wall, there are handprints of kids who have lost parents. They’re always part of the house, so it was a powerful room to be in.”
In a tumultuous on-ice campaign that ended with the club folding, Greschuk, who also battled illness and injury during the season, said the Saves for Seasons campaign was a salvation of sorts.
“It gave my playing a purpose,” said Greschuk, who works full-time at Molson and helps teach goaltending to kids at the Barrie-based Canadian Goaltending Academy. “Every junior player wants to win a championship, but so few get to accomplish that “¦ Winning isn’t everything. I think it’s important to support our community, so from that perspective, it was a great way to end my hockey career.”
He is considering a career as a sports psychologist, but, after his family’s experience at Seasons Centre, he would also not rule out working with kids dealing with grief.
Tye has also inspired other youngsters to fundraise as well. Young Emily Vanderstelt, a past participant of Seasons Centre as well ran her own “Saves for Seasons” campaign raising money each time she had a shut out – of which she had 27! Thank you Tye for your inspiration and for your support!