Monday, August 15, 2011

Andrea and Mike Vellinga at ZuRoma shortly after the Brahmas won the President's Cup

Andrea Vellinga - A time for prayers and a time to give...

Please take a moment to help some members of the Brahmas family

Early on in my endeavor to chronicle the championship season of 2008-09 (which was the original purpose of this blog), Mary Bradford from the Texas Brahmas Fan Club let me know that Mike Vellinga's wife was looking for someone who was taking photos at the games. Turns out, Mike was planning on retiring at the end of the season.

I met Andrea at the game later that particular evening and she told me that she wanted to get some photos of Mike taken during the course of the season to commemorate his final year in professional hockey. It would work out well, as I was planning on photographing most of the games anyway and I told her it wouldn't be a problem to get a dozen shots of Mike per game and maybe put together a photo book at the end of the season.

Andrea had gone back to work in Indiana with daughter Lydia while Mike remained in Texas with the Brahmas. Each time she came out to visit, she made a point of stopping by and saying hello. She was truly one of the nicest people you ever wanted to meet and I was very happy to have the opportunity to help out with this project.

After the Brahmas won the 2009 Ray Miron President's Cup championship on May 6th, it was time to get to work on organizing the several thousand photos shot during the season and as one of many side projects, put together the photo book which was titled Mike Vellinga - A Championship Season 2008-09.

Mike and I had a running inside joke about an interview we never did and throughout the season, we would joke about it. To my knowledge, he didn't know about the project and he gave me a call after he received the book to express his thanks. We talked about a lot of things and before we hung up, we joked that we would talk soon and get that interview done...

Now, I'd heard about the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair and although we hear about tragedies of all sorts every day, this one struck a chord, probably because I have many ties to the Hoosier State. On Sunday, my wife came out to the back yard where I was doing some work and told me my cell phone kept going off and that she read a text from my friend Gina, telling me that Andrea had been critically injured.

Here is a detailed news article from The Herald Bulletin of Anderson, Indiana

Here is a blog post by a friend of Andrea's worth reading

Suffice it to say, Andrea's a strong woman and everyone is praying hard for her, for Mike and Lydia, as well as the other victims of the stage collapse at the fairgrounds. Brahmas fans, they can use your prayers...please keep them in your thoughts.

In addition, there are bound to be some long term financial needs for the Vellinga family. I'd like you to consider giving anything you can, whenever you can, to assist. You can go to the Catalyst Church website here, find the Catalyst Online tab and select Vellinga Support. I've checked with Andrea's brother and this is a Vellinga family-approved fund.

I am planning an online auction of some Brahmas memorabilia, photographs, as well as some other CHL items from my personal collection to raise some money. I'll advise when and where you can go to bid.

Photo Credits: Robert Keith

1 comment:

Lorrie Cameron said...

Oh Robert once again you have touched my heart with your story on the Vellinga Family. Thank you for always being on top of these things. It means the world to each of the former Brahma's. Brahma Family forever. Praying very hard for Andrea, Mike, Lydia and their families in Drayton Valley Canada xoxoxo
Lorrie Cameron