Denise Comazzetto isn’t the only Blazer mom being celebrated this Mother’s Day.
For many on the team Melissa Willick, aka Momma Willick, is a welcome hug, a batch of homemade cookies and an encouraging word after a game.
Her son, Blazers’ right-winger Dylan Willick, said his mom deserves some Mother’s Day attention because she goes above and beyond the call of duty for the average hockey mom.
For one, she moved her family — including Dylan’s sisters Devin and Dakota — from Prince George to Kamloops last July in order to be closer to him and the team.
And she’s a constant presence at home games, shouting words of encouragement from the stands.
“She loves watching hockey,” he said.
But she also keeps the doors to the family home open for anyone on the team to stop in, have supper and hang out, said Dylan.
“There’s always lots of food around the house. Everyone is invited to come by,” he said. “She’s really just a big supporter. She’s always there for everybody. She says she’s the mom away from mom.”
For her part, Willick said the move to Kamloops made sense. Her husband works in Fort McMurray and had to commute anyway. It didn’t matter to him where the family lives, she said.
As for the TLC she gives the Blazers, Willick knows from the years Dylan lived with a billet family that life away from home isn’t easy. So she tries to fill the void as best she can.
She added that Dylan always had a good relationship with his billet family, so it only seemed right to pass that experience on.
“For the other boys, they’re away from home. I know they’ve got billet moms too, but sometimes it makes a difference to have a mom who knows what they are going through,” she said.
“They know, when they come through my door, that they’re going to get a Momma Willick hug, that there’s cookies in the cookie jar. It’s just like walking in at home.”
She sends the cookies on the road as a reminder that, no matter how far from home the team is playing, that a Momma Willick hug is always there, she said.