Fans and supporters of Ben Stelter were invited to say goodbye to their six-year-old who died a week ago. A parade in memory of the Oilers superfan will drive through Rogers Square on Friday, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of four.
Organiser Ashif Mawji, a friend of the Stelter family, will drive his orange 2021 812 GTS Ferrari – including Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and most recently Ben – along with several other “special guests” at the parade. He arranged for police escorts and traffic stops, as well as free placards for fans to wave on the sidewalk outside Ford Hall.
“I think we’re going to have hundreds — if not a thousand — fans of Iben who will be there cheering,” Magee told CTV News Edmonton. “We’re going to go slow, so you can wave, you can cheer, sing ‘La Bamba’, play ‘La Bamba’.”
Mawji met Stelters during the pandemic when he was asked to drive past Ben’s home in Ferrari to celebrate the boy’s fifth birthday.
Later, Mawji would facilitate Ben’s first meeting with McDavid in 2021.
“We consider them part of our family. I just want to give Ben the goodbye he deserves,” Magee said Wednesday.
He thinks Ben would like the Friday schedule.
“I remember sitting with him at Rogers’ Scotiabank Chairman’s Club and was dying to see myself in all the media, even the screen, the big screen, whatever,” Mawji recalls.
Edmontonians and NHL fans were introduced to Ben when the Oilers named him their official “Playoff Ambassador” earlier this spring.
He earned his own Chartered Oilers Trading Card, and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation partnered with the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Society for Children with Cancer during the playoffs.
Ben soon became known for his contagious smile, growling “Play La Bamba, Baby” and unwavering loyalty to the Edmonton NHL team. “I think Friday is going to be very emotional. It’s obviously a celebration of life; we want to remember all the happy moments, and there were a lot of them,” Mawji said.
He told CTV News Edmonton that Stelts is doing well. “I’m a parent. I can’t imagine what they’ve been through in there. No matter how well you’re prepared for something like this, you’re never prepared… They’re a very strong family. They’re very tight. She’ll get through it. of.”
Anyone planning to watch the parade was asked to arrive early to be outside Ford Hall by 9:45 a.m. A live stream of the memorial service at 11:30 a.m. will be provided by Hope City Church at hopecity.ca/stream.