Contributed by MaLane Harbour, MTN Solutions Inc & Carlos Gomez, the Scotty Gomez Foundation
Born in Modesto, California to crop-picking parents, Carlos Gomez never could imagine that he would one day have a son playing in the National Hockey League (NHL). Shortly after Carlos was born, his entire family was deported for not having proper paperwork, landing them two hours from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
While living here, a family tragedy occurred which caused Carlo’s mother (Maria) to pack up her ten children, separate from her husband and move Tijuana with family. Maria was determined to escape poverty.
Within a year of living in Tijuana, Carlo’s father (Salvador) followed his family, only to fall ill and have to move back to Guadalajara. At the young age of 42 years old, Salvador passed away, leaving behind Maria with ten children.
In order to survive, Maria had to make the tough decision to send most children to live with relatives.
A United States citizen by birth, Carlos was able to cross the border to San Diego with his Aunt Esperanza. Over his school years, he lived with various family members and friends but had very little guidance, except for in sports.
“I’ve always credited my love of sports to saving my life. My coaches always looked out for me and gave me the direction and guidance that I needed.” Carlos played football throughout high school and also worked full-time to support his siblings and mother.
Upon graduating from high school in 1971, Carlos followed his older brother, Juan, to the north - finding his new home in Alaska. In 1972, Carlos met his future wife and mother to his children, Dalia. Together they had three children, his daughters Monica and Natalie and his son, Scott.
Although Carlos had never even ice skated, Scott picked up his dad’s love of playing sports as well as his competitiveness and eventually became one of the best hockey players to ever come out of Alaska.
“I never had a dad to lean on while growing up, so I made sure that Scott got all the love and support he needed while growing up.”
In 1998, Scott Gomez was selected as the 27th pick of the first round in the NHL Entry draft. The rest is history.
Carlos knows first-hand that economically disadvantaged kids don’t always get the chances they may deserve. He knows the lives they live and the challenges they face, and also that disadvantages can be overcome.
“I lived it and survived. Through the Scotty Gomez Foundation, I am determined to give kids an opportunity to participate and succeed. Hockey is a life sport and even though the kids we support may not grow up to skate in the NHL, they’ll participate into their adulthood in this great sport of hockey.” Carlos is the director of the Scotty Gomez Foundation, a non-profit founded by Scott and his family.
The reason that the foundation was created was because of the cost of hockey - some kids may never get an opportunity to skate. So the foundation is committed to helping every young skater (girl or boy) at least gets a chance to pursue the dream that Scott Gomez lived.
The Last Frontier Pond Hockey Classic is the biggest fundraiser for this organization and will take place at Burkeshore Marina on March 10th, 11th and 12th, 2017. Saturday the 11th, there will be a firework show and H3 in concert – all for free for the community to attend.
For more information and registration go to www.akpond.com.