An Edmonton senior received the surprise of a lifetime when her all-time favourite Oiler, Grant Fuhr, walked into her seniors’ home on Monday.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my — Grant!” Joyce Jerrett-Mercer exclaimed as she got up to give the Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender a hug.
The meeting came courtesy of Stocking Stuffers for Seniors, a program that helps often isolated and low-income seniors get Christmas presents.
Jerrett-Mercer was asked by organizers what she wanted for Christmas and the senior requested an autographed picture of Fuhr.
“I never, ever thought this would happen. This is a complete surprise to me. I asked for it not knowing the actual Grant Fuhr is going to show up,” Jerrett-Mercer said.
Fuhr said he was happy to make his longtime fan’s day.
“The bonus of being an athlete is you’re allowed to give back. And I think when you retire, people maybe forget about you a little bit, but at the same time, you have more of a platform to give back. They were good enough to give to us when we were in our prime. It’s nice to give something back,” he said.
This isn’t the first time the two have met. Years ago, Fuhr was signing autographs in Fort McMurray when Jerrett-Mercer took her boys to meet him.
“My son went up to you and you personally gave him a hug and told him to keep one and do good and he became a goalie after that,” she explained.
“It’s great that she’s been a fan for so long,” Fuhr said.
“I’m old now. And the fact that I can still bring joy to people and they enjoy seeing me still makes it all worthwhile.”
Stocking Stuffers for Seniors will deliver nearly 5,000 gifts to seniors in the Edmonton area this week; each has been donated by customers.
“It’s a wonderful way to reach out to those who sometimes, unfortunately, are forgotten about,” Perry Lubberding, the manager of the Oliver Square London Drugs, said.
So how did the surprise go over? Jerrett-Mercer couldn’t stop the tears from flowing as Fuhr handed her tickets to see the Oilers play live against Calgary over the holidays.
“I’m so happy and so grateful that he took the time to come and see me.”