Grand Forks Border Bruins seek billet families

The Grand Forks Border Bruins hockey team is looking for people to help billet players for the upcoming season.

Conner Bowen (far left) and Brendan Enns (far right) of the Border Bruins with their host billet family the Friths in 2012.

The Grand Forks Border Bruins hockey team is looking for people to help billet players for the upcoming season.

Billet families act as surrogate families for the players and most find the experience wonderful and fulfilling, said Michelle Odland, team billet co-ordinator.

“Many of our billet families have provided a home away from home for players coming from throughout Canada and the United States and even Russia,” she said,“These players range in age from 16 to 20 years old.”

Tom Frith, director of operations for the Border Bruins, has billeted several players over the years and he and his family have found it a very rewarding experience.

“Besides being on the (Grand Forks Border Bruins) board on and off for a number of years, we’ve been billet home for three players per season,” he said.

Frith said the players act as great mentors for the family’s three young boys.

“It’s a very active household, but we’d have it no other way,” he said. “It’s just a fantastic opportunity. The boys really love having these part-time hockey big brothers around. It’s a very rewarding experience.”

Frith said the family still keeps in contact with most of the old billet players, who often drop by if they’re passing through Grand Forks.

The Border Bruins require billet families to provide a bed and bedroom, with access to washroom and laundry facilities as well as meals to players.

In return, families are compensated with $500 a month per player for the season and receive tickets to home games.

To become a billet family, contact Odland at billeting@borderbruins.ca or by phone at 250-443-1245.

– with files from Karl Yu

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