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OKC's 'Barons Buddies' program touches players and families

By Mike Baldwin Published: November 5, 2013
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/articleid/3901543/1/pictures/2259639">Photo - Mia Dickinson ,6, poses for a photo in a photo booth with her Barons Buddy, Brad Hunt, and her brother Tanner, 13, during a Barons Buddies event with the Oklahoma City Barons and Special Olympians in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, November 5, 2013. The Special Olympians and their families were introduced to the Barons player that they will paired with throughout the year. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Mia Dickinson ,6, poses for a photo in a photo booth with her Barons Buddy, Brad Hunt, and her brother Tanner, 13, during a Barons Buddies event with the Oklahoma City Barons and Special Olympians in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, November 5, 2013. The Special Olympians and their families were introduced to the Barons player that they will paired with throughout the year. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Defenseman Alex Plante was Macey's “buddy” last season. Plante, from Canada, got married this past summer in Sweden and moved to Austria. But last season, Plante lived six weeks with the Dickinsons after he broke his jaw in a game.

“He had no family here,” Meghan said. “Because we had gotten to really know him, we were his family here. This isn't just about this program, which is so great. This program introduced us to a lifelong friendship. We still stay in contact with Alex through Facebook, Skype. We're good friends.”

Mia's “buddy” this season is Brad Hunt, a 25-year-old defenseman from Canada who was introduced to the Dickinsons Tuesday night.

“This is an awesome experience,” Hunt said. “I've never really done anything like this before. It really opens your eyes. Mia is in a great situation coming from the Ukraine. It's a really cool experience. It's great to see the smiles on their faces.”

Meghan said she wasn't a hockey fan before they were part of “Barons Buddies.”

“I absolutely love hockey now,” Meghan said. “I watched a lot of NHL when my husband was in the hospital with a total knee replacement. I was thinking, ‘This is crazy how much I like hockey now.'”


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