Every Family Day long weekend, Liam Dumelie dedicates his time to work during the Stollery Family Day Classic.
The hockey tournament is organized by Liam’s family friend Steve Serdachny.
The Classic, which will take place Feb. 15 to 18, 2019 at Edmonton’s Terwillegar Recreation Centre, is focused on children, families, active living and good health, the website says. The mission of the tournament is to create an event that is about giving back and promoting awareness and support for the Stollery Children’s hospital among youth and the community at large.
Liam, 15, supports the Stollery Children’s Hospital, which has helped a close friend who has undergone many surgeries.
“That is what my motivation was,” says Liam, who has played in the tournament and raised $36,000 over five years, leading to him being among several recipients of the Alberta Association of Fundraising Executives award in 2013.
His volunteer duties included time-keeping, moving boxes and sitting at the front desk greeting people, and helping out with set up. Liam, who plays for the OHA Edmonton Elite 15 team, started getting involved as a volunteer seven years ago.
He also received a letter from former prime minister Stephen Harper thanking him for his volunteer efforts.
“I was surprised, but pleased to be acknowledged by such a dignitary like prime minister Harper,” says Liam, whose mother Stephanie put the letter away for safe-keeping.
Liam credits his parents Patrick and Stephanie, and brother Rory, for encouraging him to give time, as well as Serdachny.
“When you give back, first of all it feels good to know you are helping out other kids that really need it,” he says. “You can relate with Stollery’s Children’s Hospital to those kids. When you are young, it is really hard to go through experiences like that.”
Liam’s parents say he has always been an independent and determined young man. He has a big heart and enjoys supporting others. From an early age he has always given a helping hand or advocated for those who need some support.
“While we set him on the right path, Liam had a friend who inspired him,” says Patrick. “A very resilient young woman who has benefitted from the services of the Stollery Hospital.
“He came home and was equally determined to make a difference,” Patrick continues. “He was participating in the Family Day Classic that year, a tournament organized by Serdachny. He decided he would do whatever he could to raise money to support the Stollery Children’s Hospital, but most importantly people like his friend.
As parents, the Dumelies supported him and recognized this was something he needed to do to support his desire to give back to others who might not be as fortunate. It was also an opportunity for Liam to grow and learn.
“We are extremely proud of what Liam has accomplished and continues to accomplish with his volunteerism at the Family Day Classic,” says Stephanie. “These are skills that he will carry with him wherever his future brings.”
Liam feels that volunteering has made him a better person. By doing things for others, he is setting himself up for success. To him, it’s the right thing to do offering help to others. Giving his time is something he wants to continue.
He has already given thought to another organization he wants help in the future – the Alzheimer’s Society.
“My grandma is suffering from it right now. Seeing her go through that, I know it is a rough go for all the people it affects,” says Liam.