Like mother, like daughter: Chrissy and Kennedy McQuade volunteering their time at Spring Showcase

RED DEER – With Mother’s Day around the corner, Chrissy and Kennedy McQuade are getting an early start on the celebration.

The mother-daughter duo is in Red Deer to volunteer for the 2024 Alberta Challenge and were in town last weekend as well to help with Alberta Cup. This week, Chrissy is the Director of Operations for North Blue, managing the group’s events throughout the weekend while Kennedy is one of the scorekeepers.

This is Kennedy’s second time volunteering for Challenge, while her mom is going through the process for the first time. The pair said it’s very meaningful to get the chance to do the event together.

“I love being around the rink and watching my girls play,” Chrissy said. “Now to be able to here with her, it’s very neat for me.”

“Yeah, she’s always been around the rink, so it’s cool to be able to do this together,” Kennedy added. “It’s a cool experience, a nice family bonding type of thing. It’s super cool.”

So where did the inspiration come from to volunteer their time during Spring Showcase?

“It was actually Kennedy’s idea. She said she wanted to give back because she’s gone through Challenge, the U16 and U18 camps and done all of that,” Chrissy said. “We live close to three hours away and she drove herself back and forth last year.”

This year, Mike McGinnis, Hockey Alberta’s Manager of Player Development, reached out and asked if Chrissy wanted to volunteer as well. Chrissy said it’s been a very gratifying experience to watch Kennedy grow into a young adult.

“I’m really proud of Kennedy. I watch her all the time so it’s really cool. It’s cool to watch her now giving back too,” she said. “I never played hockey so I’m living through my kids and it’s amazing to see how much she enjoys people and how much she’s come out of her shell. It’s really neat to see and I’m so proud of her.”

Kennedy started playing at a young age after the family moved from Ontario. She spent this past year with the U18 AAA St. Albert Bauer Slash, playing defence and chipping in with 10 points in 30 games. The next step she’d like to take would integrate her into the coaching world.

“This year when I went to the regional camps with my mom, it was awesome to see all of the stuff that takes place behind the scenes,” she said. “Just seeing what the coaches get to do and how they give back to the players is really inspiring. I decided I wanted to coach when I was older and thought that I might as well start right now.”

She said she couldn’t do it though, without the help of her mother.

“I’m super honoured,” Kennedy said. “Even if my siblings have a game, she’s there. She’s always supporting me to follow my dreams. I’ve had a few rough years with hockey in the past and she’s always been my rock. I love her so much.”