KENSINGTON – A kind-hearted gesture by a young hockey player has caught the attention of a local team.
Cameron Hunter celebrated his ninth birthday at Community Gardens on Saturday, Dec. 16. The celebration included an ice rental and attending that evening’s New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League game between the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild and Saint John Vitos.
The Wild, as part of the team’s Wild Gives Back program, was holding a toy drive for Christmas. After learning of this, the son of Kevin and Mary Hunter of Indian River informed his mother that instead of him receiving birthday presents, he would like his eight party guests to donate a toy at the Wild game.
“I just thought of people who don’t have as much as I do and do not get gifts for Christmas, so I decided to donate my presents,” explained Cameron in an interview with the Journal Pioneer earlier this week at the home of his grandparents, Bob and Rosalie Bowness.
Cameron’s selfless act quickly caught the attention of the Wild. Team captain Clark Webster tweeted this on Sunday, Dec. 17: “The true Wild West player of the game last night goes to my little cousin Cam Hunter, he decided to donate all his birthday gifts at our home game for the Christmas Hampers Program!”
Organization reaches out
The Wild organization was also touched by Cameron’s actions.
“When we heard he did this, we felt it would be nice to reward him for his efforts and invited him to travel with the team to Moncton for Friday’s (Dec. 22) game,” said Wild owner Mike Gallant. “It was quite a thing for this young man to do.”
Wild head coach Kyle Dunn added: “When I heard about it the next day, for a nine-year-old on his birthday to give up his presents and give them to the needy is first class all the way. Hats off to that family.”
A Grade 3 student at Queen Elizabeth Elementary School in Kensington, Cameron attends “most of the (Wild) games” and describes the action as “fast paced and very interesting.”
As he boarded the newly-decaled team bus behind Community Gardens on a sunny and crisp Friday afternoon, he said he was looking forward to hanging with the players as the Wild headed off for a showdown between the league’s top two teams. Moncton entered the game at 15-4-2 (won-lost-overtime losses), three points up on the Wild (14-5-1).
“It felt really special,” said Cameron in describing his reaction to receiving Gallant’s offer to accompany the Wild. “I didn’t think anything like that would happen.”
Cameron plays with the Gulf Storm atom AA team, and has followed in the footsteps of two of his cousins – Webster and his older brother Bailey Webster – as a defenceman. Bailey, a Wild product, plays in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Saint John Sea Dogs.
“Clark is more offensive, so I’m more like Bailey, defensive,” analyzed Cameron, who said he would like to play for the Wild some day.
Dunn added everyone can learn a valuable lesson from Cameron’s generosity.
“It’s all about giving and putting others above yourself,” added Dunn. “It’s pretty amazing what this kid has done.”