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Billet Feature: Jong Family

Billet families play an important role in the lives of Hurricanes players. Local families open up their homes and personal lives to our players each season and partake in a vast array of festivities throughout the year. Billet families work hard to ensure that our players integrate into the community smoothly and comfortably while reducing the stress of moving to a new city and being away from their family. This translates into hard work, dedication, and success on the ice, both at games and at practices.

Playing an important role in our organization, each week we would like to introduce you to our billet families.

Fans, meet the Jong’s!

Just one year into their billeting journey, billet mom and dad Carla and Chris Jong, along with their kids Grayson and Aubrey, and Buck their chocolate Lab, have briefly been home to Tyson Phare and Sal Collora.

Though the family’s time as billets has been short, Chris says “our family has really enjoyed being involved with billeting.” When asked why they decided to give billeting a try Chris said, “we have always been big fans of the Hurricanes. Our family have always been supporters since the Broncos days. We have some friends that are billet families as well as friends who are alumni. We just wanted to get more involved and help the team out.”

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Aubrey, Tyson, and Grayson

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Grayson, Aubrey, and Tyson

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Tyson and Buck

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Sal and Aubrey

 

It’s safe to say the family has not looked back on their decision. “Each time we have had a player in our home has been a wonderful experience. The kids look up to them like a big brother. Tyson and Sal both made time to play with the kids and invest in those relationships. Whether it be building Lego, puzzles or crafts with Aubrey or playing mini sticks and video games with Grayson. The neighborhood kids also think it’s really cool to have a Hurricane on the block and enjoy playing street hockey, soccer, and jumping on the trampoline with them. Tyson and Sal have been such good sports and we have really appreciated watching our children getting so much joy from those relationships. The billets also immediately get a fan base of two loud cheering children the moment they get on the ice!”

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The Jong’s have enjoyed getting to know their billet players, and staying in touch. In face, they were supposed to meet up with Tyson this past summer but were not able to due to COVID. They have also enjoyed getting to know their billet players’ families as well. “The billet parents are always fantastic. They are both involved and supportive in anyway. We have enjoyed keeping in close contact with parents and create close relationships, we truly consider them friends. Having the billet’s family over for meals and visits when they are in town is something we really look forward to.”

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Carla, Aubrey, Tyson, Grayson, and Chris

Read on to read more about the Jong’s!

Do you have any traditions, fun facts, celebrations, etc. with your billet?

Watching hockey together is always fun. There is always a healthy dose of friendly banter regarding favourite teams on both sides. Look out if they play each other haha.

What does a regular day look like in your home during the season?

We both work so week days are busy, we are up and out the door early getting the kids to school, etc. We have a sit-down meal most nights with the players when they are in town. This is a great time to catch up with them and see how they are doing. They really become a member of your family quickly. We enjoy making big brunch/breakfasts on the weekend as well, and it gives us the opportunity to spend time together, relax, and visit.

What does a game day look like in your home?

Carla prepares a pregame meal, we try to keep it low key, the two players we have had like to nap prior to eating. Keeping things quiet with two kids and a dog is always a challenge but we save our excitement for game time!

Is there a favourite meal in your household?

PIZZA! Always pizza.

Is there anything you have to keep stocked in the pantry that you normally wouldn’t?

Gallons of chocolate milk and iced tea!

What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a billet?

We would definitely recommend anyone who thinks they would like to get involved to do it. There is no question that billeting these players has given more to our family than it has ever taken.

*Photos provided by Carla Jong

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