Those of you who visit here regularly will be aware of previous stories involving Jessi, the young lady with Down Syndrome who is such a big part of the Tri-City Americans’ story.
Well, Dawn Johnson, who has been one of Jessi’s teachers, dropped me a note on Sunday evening. Here, in Dawn’s words, is the latest chapter in the relationship between a young lady and her favourite hockey team:
“Each year I am responsible for organizing the Booster Thank You event in which we invite booster club members who volunteered in some capacity the previous season.
“For the third year in a row I organized a mini-putt tournament where two boosters and two players were paired and played18 holes. I invited Jessi and her family to volunteer with the registration, which left time for her to play mini-golf after everyone arrived. Her mother, Tracy, was a little nervous as she wondered how Jessi would do as she hadn’t tried this since she lost her sight.
“I asked Kruise Reddick and Adam Hughesman if they would golf with Jessi, and we had them start last so there would be no concerns with taking their time.
“While waiting for their turn, Tracy joked with Kruise that he should try playing blind, too. An idea was born and a blindfold was found. When Adam heard about it, he said he'd like to try it, too.
After four holes or so, Tracy was trying to convince the players that they'd had a taste and it was OK to restore their sight. Both boys insisted on keeping the blindfolds on and completed the 18 holes. They were using their golf clubs as walking sticks and reaching down and feeling the obstacles before taking their shots.
“As they finished, Kruise and Adam commented on how difficult it was and expressed admiration for Jessi. By the way — Jessi beat both of them!
“I believe that these efforts are well above and beyond the expectations placed upon these hockey players. The greatest thing about all of this is how modest these two boys are. They sincerely wanted to do this and had a lot of fun with Jessi and her family.
“Neither Kruise nor Adam seemed to think that they had done something extra or special — it's just who they are.”
You can find an earlier story on Jessi right here.
There is a fresh photo of Jessi, Adam and Kruise right here.