Calgary Flames Foundation and Air Canada host youth with autism for Fan Flight to Los Angeles
Adam Hayman and Isaiah Kurth, who both have autism spectrum disorder, are two of the youth joining the Calgary Flames on their flight down to Los Angeles to face the Kings on Wednesday night.
CALGARY -- When the Calgary Flames head out to Los Angeles for their match with the Kings this week, a flight of lucky fans will also be flying down to enjoy the game.
Fourteen-year-old Isaiah Kurth and 15-year-old Adam Hayman, who are on the autism spectrum, are among the group on Tuesday's flight.
The boys play hockey every Sunday with others who have various challenges. It’s sponsored by the Calgary Flames Foundation and is called the Super HEROS hockey program.
Wayne Hayman, Adam’s dad, says his son is a natural leader in the program.
“(It's) because he talks and is outspoken. There’s maybe a lot of kids who don’t speak as much that he can interact with and get them out of their shell a little bit.”
The two boys show others confidence and how to tackle new experiences by always helping out on and off the ice.
Air Canada is hosting Kurth and Hayman through it’s Fan Flight program that rewards deserving fans. Candidates are chosen by the Air Canada Foundation and, during last NHL season, it sent 153 fans from across the country on 14 different fan flights.
“We work with our partners across the country to find our deserving ‘mark makers’ as we call them, kids that are always giving back to their communities," said Melanie Stoute with the foundation. "In Calgary we worked with 'HEROS Hockey' who also partner with the Calgary Flames and that’s how we found Adam and Isaiah.”
Kurth and Hayman have had more than a month to get excited for their trip after being surprised with boarding passes after a game in December by Flames coach Geoff Ward.
Adam was surprised to receive boarding passes from the coach and joked with him.
“We hate going places, we love doing school work, yeah, ok, I’m completely lying right now we love going on trips, he’s (Isaiah) never been to America.”
Isaiah’s mom and eight-year-old sister Laila also get to go to Los Angeles for the Feb. 12 game.
“I’ve never been able to take him outside the country and take him travelling so at his age we are just so fortunate and so grateful that he can have this opportunity,” said Elisabeth Kurth.
But while his mom is wearing a Calgary Flames hoodie, Isaiah isn’t.
“Like to be honest, I’m just going to cheer for the L.A. team, just an opinion,” he said.
Elisabeth says with a smile that Isaiah might have to sit somewhere else in the King’s Staples Center.
Everything is included in the VIP trip and there is even some free time scheduled to explore Los Angeles. The lucky fans return to Calgary Feb. 13.