March 24, 2014 | North America: Canada

Special Olympics Canada athlete meets famous goalie Patrick Roy

By Kirk De Fazio, Director of Development, Eastern Ontario, Special Olympics Ontario-Canada

Melanie Heroux, a Special Olympics Ontario, Canada athlete, was in for the surprise of her life. Melanie received complimentary tickets to an Ottawa Senators NHL game. Kirk De Fazio, Director of Development for Eastern Ontario, Canada, received the tickets and realized the Ottawa Senators would be playing the Colorado Avalanche, in Ottawa, the Nation's Capitol. Kirk smiled, as he remembered that the Head coach was the famous Patrick Roy. Melanie's favorite team was the Montreal Canadians, the former team of Patrick Roy. Melanie had her very own Habs jersey, with #33 on it. Kirk contacted, Deb Dowling in the Colorado Communications department, who then contacted Jean Martineau and the surprise for Melanie was on! What happened next was priceless. Melanie was taken down to the AVS dressing room before the game, and out walked Coach Roy. Her jaw dropped and she needed a moment to catch her breath. Melanie said as she touched her heart "it is such an honor to meet you Patrick." They had a tremendous chat in French, about Special Olympics, and Coach Roy signed her vintage Habs jersey. Ten minutes later Melanie said " my heart is still pounding from meeting Patrick Roy! I cannot believe what just happened." Melanie displayed a permanent smile throughout the game as the AVS beat the Sens 3-1. Melanie is grateful to the Avalanche organization for this opportunity. Special Olympics Colorado is a premier partner with the Colorado Avalanche.

About Kirk De Fazio, Director of Development, Eastern Ontario, Special Olympics Ontario-Canada: Athletic Director for 25 years, educator, motivator, and IRONMAN triathlete. Passionate about life, and working with all aspects of health and wellness. Believes strongly in the force for good that the Special Olympics movement stands for.
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