Vancouver Canucks players visited the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice on Oct. 24 to celebrate Halloween with children, families and chocolate.
Left winger Antoine Roussel and power forward Jake Virtanen, along with team mascot Fin and Vancouver chocolatier Thomas Haas, spent the afternoon decorating chocolate pumpkins with families receiving support from the pediatric palliative care provider.
“Annually, Canucks players come to Canuck Place Hospice, and visit children and families who are in-house,” said Debbie Butt, director of communications and events at the hospice. “Some years we actually carve pumpkins, but this year we had Vancouver chocolatier Thomas Haas bring chocolate pumpkins and the kids got to decorate those.”
Virtanen told Black Press Media chocolate is one of his favourite desserts.
“I wasn’t going to say no, and then coming here and doing it with the kids was a really great time,” he said.
“It was fun,” Roussel agreed. “It’s always fun to come here and give some time.”
Butt said the event means a lot to the families.
“They’re living with life-threatening illnesses, and to have the ability to do something fun and make memories together is really, really important for them,” she said.
Hundreds of children living with life-threatening illnesses and families receive care from Canuck Place through outpatient programs and two inpatient provincial hospice locations.
Services include medical respite and family support, pain and symptom management, 24-hour phone consultation support and in-house clinical care, music, art and recreation therapy, education, grief, loss, and bereavement counselling, as well as end-of-life care.