Throughout our years in the NAHL, the Brahmas organization would not be able to function without our billet families, giving our players a home while they develop as athletes. Each week, we will be highlighting one of our wonderful billet families to recognize the hard work and support they give to our team each season. Join us in celebrating the unsung heroes of junior hockey.
Name: The Kallas Family
City: Fort Worth
How long have you been a billet?
Why did you become a billet?
Coach Wildfong and the media coordinator spoke at a kid’s camp event at the NRH library that was coordinated by Karen. He asked Karen if she had ever been to a hockey game. With roots from Minnesota, Karen chuckled. Then he asked if Pete or she had been to a Brahmas game, to which Karen informed Dan that Pete was a season ticket holder. At the time Pete and Karen were looking into hosting a foreign exchange student. Coach Wildfong told them to put that on hold and the following week he and his assistant made a home visit. The rest is history.
Do you have a favorite billeting memory?
We have many – a player requesting our home as part of a deal to return to the Brahmas, an emergency appendectomy, meeting a player during the summer for lunch in Boston, introducing the players to some of our favorite Texas landmarks and hangouts, and hosting team events at our house.
What is your favorite part of the billeting experience?
Allowing the players to get to know us as more than a source of food and shelter. We like to offer our support to them and establish relationships so they feel like they have a “family” away from home.
If you’ve been a billet for multiple seasons, do you still keep in contact with previous billet players?
We recognize all of our previous players’ birthdays and at Christmas. We still keep in touch with their parents.
Do you have any advice for billet parents?
Be approachable so that your player can establish a relationship with you. Each of the players we have had at our home has enriched our lives in the experiences they have shared with us. Be willing to share with them. Show them your community, your lives, your DFW, and Texas. You get out of the relationship what you put into it.
If you could say something to a family on the fence about billeting, what would you say?
If you are already a Brahmas fan, this will take your experience to a new level. Games become much more personal when you have a player on the ice. If not currently part of the Brahmas community, this is a way to help a young person move toward their dreams. Good billets are essential to developing the boys into great players and good citizens.
If you’d like more information about becoming a billet, please visit www.lonestarbrahmas.com/billet-families or email our billet coordinator, Sydney Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.