A Million Dollar Family
Contributed by Lori LaFrance, Oshawa Ontario Stake
Brent and Linda King know how to rally their eight children for a great cause. The King family has made a significant contribution to the community by volunteering their time raising funds at the Vancouver Canucks hockey games. “Canucks for Kids Fund” is a charitable foundation that supports Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and other local community programs.
Having volunteered at over 600 games, the King family reached their ultimate fundraising goal of $1 million together on March 30, 2012. Fifteen extended family members came from across the country to work the final season games at Rogers Arena. They were dubbed the “Million Dollar Family” and recognized by the NHL club as “Local Heroes.”
When a son born with spina bifida in 1974 passed away at the age of six, they became sensitive to the challenges that face families with critically ill children. Although Canuck Place didn’t exist at that time, the Kings recognized that raising funds for this charity would provide a valuable service to families like theirs who are in need of support.
Brent was first introduced to the charity in 2000 through his son’s high school group. He realized it was an opportunity to honour his deceased son while giving his other children a fun way to serve in the community.
Little did Brent know that volunteering in the community would literally save his life. On January 3, 2006, while working at the World Junior Hockey Championships, he suddenly collapsed to the floor, having suffered a severe brain aneurysm. With 18,000 people in the arena, it was no coincidence that the closest police officer (standing just yards away) was a member of his ward. Emergency services were dispatched and a priesthood blessing was immediately administered. Nothing short of a miraculous recovery followed. After months of rehabilitation, and despite many personal challenges, Brent continued to serve at the Vancouver Canucks games and also in his calling as stake executive secretary in the Surrey British Columbia Stake.
Although Brent and Linda retired to Lethbridge in 2007, they continued making the 1200 km. drive to work an additional 58 games, including the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. They chose not to participate on Sundays, even though invited to do so for the gold medal game.
For this family, helping to make a difference for Canuck Place has accomplished something of value and worth in the community, while drawing their family together in unity and faith.
Brother and Sister King currently live in the Lethbridge Alberta Stake, where they serve in scouting, music, and the Cardston Alberta Temple.