On December 19, 2016, my husband and I found our two sons, Ryder (13) and Radek (11) murdered by their biological father at his home in Spruce Grove, AB. My sons moved there just three months earlier in order to play hockey at a higher level. In the minutes, days and months following their deaths, I couldn't imagine how my life could move forward without them, but I did remember lying in their beds that fateful night and making them a promise to keep their legacies alive and let the world know their names.
Through this unthinkable tragedy, I have not only seen my family and friends come together to support me, as a mother, but the entire community of Whitecourt, Alberta along with the hockey community of Alberta. My two boys loved and obsessed over the game of hockey. Whether it was playing it in the basement, out on the street or at the arena, they were unbelievably passionate about this sport.
While they were fierce competitors with their opponents, they were also known for being incredible team players, always the first to offer support to their teammates during successes or challenges. That’s just who they were.
The R&R Empowering Society of Alberta was born from our sons memories. Our family experienced extreme kindness following the boys deaths and we started to receive donations from friends, family and strangers alike. We asked Whitecourt Minor Hockey Association to hold the donations in a trust account until we had a chance to plan how these funds could benefit our community. Our aim is to support children and youth all across Alberta with not only hockey, but any sport, extra curricular, or life enhancing activity they might be interested in pursuing, but is out of reach financially for their families.
When my boys left this earth, it left a hole, not just in my life, but in our entire community and I truly believe the R&R Empowering Society will not only help fill that void by Ryder & Radek's passing, but it will also keep their legacies alive and thriving as well as empower and assist Alberta's youth and communities.
Thank you to Ryan Steinke for always creating beautiful videos to help tell our story.