Now that she's had that experience, the Grade 5 St. John Catholic Elementary School student is donating her prize to help others.
That prize — a $1,500 custom goalie mask based on her design — will be raffled off at St. John school to benefit the Sudbury branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.
The mask was the top prize in a holiday contest sponsored jointly by Northern Life, the Sudbury Wolves and Skaters Edge.
Sudbury school children were invited to design a new goalie mask for the Sudbury Wolves. The winner won a real mask with his or her design produced on it.
“I just think if it can help people, it would be cool,” Mercedes said.
The girl's mom, Vicky Argo, explains that Mercedes lost one of her grandfathers — William Argo — to cancer last year.
“Mercedes, unfortunately, saw a little bit of what cancer can do to people when she lost her grandfather,” she said, adding that she hopes whatever the raffle ends up raising helps in the search to find a cure for cancer.
Mercedes, who enjoys drawing, said she entered the contest at the suggestion of her teacher. She said she was excited when she won, but it was her parents who went a bit over the top.
“My parents were screaming,” Mercedes said.
Vicky said she's very proud of her daughter.
“It does a lot for her self-esteem,” she said. “It was a great thing. At the end of the day, she worked hard on something, and she accomplished something.”
Tickets for the raffle should be available at St. John school in a few weeks. The winning ticket for the goalie mask will be drawn June 10. For more information, phone the school at 705-693-2213.