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Published: March 16, 2012
From The Orange County Register
Posted by Eric Stephens, Staff writer
As the store was opened up to them and only them, the kids tiptoed in and looked around at the apparel that was at their disposal but unsure whether they could actually dig in and make the wardrobe theirs.
The feeling lasted only a few minutes. Soon, they felt right at home.
“I was built for fashion,” Codey Durham said, wearing a big grin. “Let’s just say that.”
Durham was among eight children of various ages who got to have their run of the Quiksilver store at its world headquarters in Huntington Beach on Thursday as they prepared themselves for the upcoming Lady Ducks Fashion Show that they’ll be part of next week.
It is an annual event thrown by the wives and girlfriends of the Ducks to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County – better known as CHOC. And they do get their mates involved.
On this day, the fashionistas that were offering their advice on style were center Saku Koivu and his wife, Hanna, along with defenseman Toni Lydman and his wife, Heta. (Click here to see slideshow.)
Some like Koivu and Heta Lydman eagerly offered their tips on T-shirts and dresses, hooded sweatshirts and pants, shoes and shorts. Heta’s husband did what he could but admitted that it is not his forte.
“I certainly would have just picked the first thing I could grab when I was that age,” Toni Lydman said. “I had no idea how to match and that sort of thing.
“I had no style. That was my style growing up. Which, I guess is cool. I was different.”
The children inside the store weren’t any different than those that you would see at the nearby mall, with the small exception that several of them have been through battles most are fortunate not to endure.
Sarah Dunn’s seven-year-old daughter, Keturah, was born with a vocal cord disorder and has to sleep with a ventilator attached to her in order to breathe through the night. She’s also had to battle through bouts of pneumonia.
But the Ducks and Quiksilver not only provided Keturah this welcome distraction from appointments twice a week and daily treatments but also included older siblings Aubrey and Malakai.
“CHOC is part of our family,” Sarah said. “Keturah was born with all of her medical problems so to be able to be part of it is being able to give back to the community. It’s fun for them.
“We’re at appointments all the time. For them to be able to come do something special, especially for the siblings too … it focuses on them as well as their sister. This is for them to have a chance to do something for themselves as well.”
Heta Lydman stayed around until all of the kids were taken care of with their outfits. It was fun to watch them light up. “And I love shopping too,” she said. “Can’t lie about that.”
“At least for these couple of hours, they can maybe think about something else,” Lydman continued. “Maybe think about summer and just plan on things like what they want to wear. And when they get to wear them at school next week and show all the girls and boys what they go.”
Toni Lydman said he was eager to help out with the event, adding that “it doesn’t take a lot from us” to help the kids feel good about themselves for a while.
“When you look at the kids, how happy they are and excited about this, it’s kind of strange having somebody so excited just to meet you,” he said. “But that’s very rewarding just to see them smile. They’ve been though a lot, some of these kids.
“To at least give them a little moment of joy, a few hours here … that’s worth it.”
Durham, who walks with the help of a cane, has been looking forward to the fashion show ever since him mom, Patricia, let him know that he would be in it.
The teen-ager has been a fan all his life, counting the old Mighty Ducks sweater with Paul Kariya’s name on it as one of his prized possessions. He’s also got the new black, gold and orange duds too.
“It’s going to be a good experience,” Durham said. “Put you in front of people. That’s going to be cool.
“Just the whole experience of it, it’s going to be something that you’ll never forget. I will remember that for the rest of my life.”