As a two-time AJHL goalie of the year finalist Brady Parker is no stranger to making saves.
Now the Okotoks Oilers netminder is adding assists to his repertoire as the 19-year-old made a generous donation of $1,000 worth of Cutco kitchenware to the Rowan House Society after showcasing his chops in a national sales competition.
“I’ve been working as a sales rep for Vector Marketing and they put on a race for charity,” said Parker. “So I was essentially competing against other sales reps with Vector and the top five, I believe, got a portion that they could donate to any charity.
“And I was lucky enough to win that race for charity.”
The Calgarian relied on some good old-fashioned networking and connections to rise to the top as the national winner of the Race for Charity contest.
“It was just reaching out to family friends and referrals and putting on a presentation for them,” he said. “I was lucky enough to sell quite a bit of Cutco and placed top in that.”
Parker, whose stopped pucks for the Green and Gold in Okotoks since the 2018-19 season, was given the choice of which charity to gift the donation and sought the advice of his dad as well as Oilers business manager Dawn LeMaistre.
“I thought Rowan House would be a good spot just because they would be able to get a ton of use out of the knives and the kitchenware,” Parker said.
Parker was able to work with Rowan House, which offers emergency shelter and domestic violence services, and pick out the right kitchenware to suit the needs of the staff, who are exclusively cooking and preparing the meals for its residents amid the pandemic.
“We received some knives and kitchen utensils – which is perfect timing because we’re making a lot of individual meals due to the COVID circumstances,” said Sarah Davis, resource development co-ordinator for Rowan House. “And we were just looking at replacing a bunch of stuff in our kitchen so it worked out really well.”
“We have to make individual meals for all of our residents. Typically some of the families would be able to use the kitchen, but due to the COVID circumstances we’re having to have our shelter counsellors and our cooks make all of the individual meals and deliver them to the rooms.
“So having stuff we can actually cook with is fantastic, it helps our cooks out a lot, they’re very excited about it.”
Parker, whose post-season ended before it could start as the Oilers’ playoffs never got off the ground due to their bye through the first-round and the subsequent cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been working with Vector since the quarantine was put in place.
“I got the opportunity through my friend who was trying it out and it was a good opportunity because I could do it all from my house,” said Parker, who plans to study either in the business, economics or finance fields. “Originally I didn’t really think I could do sales, it was definitely out of my comfort zone at first, but I though even if I don’t sell anything it’s a good life opportunity, life skill, communication skill.
“I knew I was going to get a ton out of it no matter if I did well or not.”
And sometimes good deeds can come out of those growth opportunities.
“It’s really inspirational seeing youth give back to the community,” Davis said. “It really touched us.”