Angel Magnussen is a young woman of many talents. The Port Alberni teen, who will turn 19 on March 16, has raised thousands of dollars for the Variety Club, and now sews special blankets that go to sick children around the world.
She calls it “wrapping sick kids in a hug.”
One of the things Angel loves to do in her Hugginz By Angel studio, which houses her two-year-old charitable business, is dance. It’s something she shares in common with television talk show star Ellen DeGeneres.
Angel’s mother Cheryl sent a special cat lovers’ blanket to Ellen last year, but never received a response. This time Angel’s friend Curtis Hargrove hopes to deliver another cat lovers’ blanket directly to Ellen.
Hargrove met Angel in 2012 at the Canadian Football League Grey Cup in Toronto, where they were both up for a $100,000 Game Changer award (which Angel won and donated to the Variety Club). He is renowned in Alberta for running for charity—from raising $50,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation to $250,000 for Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
Last year Angel called him up and asked him if he would go to her Grade 12 prom with her.
“I said yes,” Hargrove said from Edmonton. “I helped make a couple of blankets. I got to see how she affected the community; how many people support her in Port Alberni.
“You see the respect from people. For a girl of 18, she’s accomplished so much at that age.”
When Hargrove heard that she wanted to send a blanket to Ellen DeGeneres and ask the talk show host to come to Port Alberni and help Angel make her charitable blankets, he decided to do something about it.
Hargrove has set up Hugginz Highway, and plans to run from Port Alberni to Burbank, Calif., to personally deliver a blanket to DeGeneres if he can.
Hargrove will be in Port Alberni on May 30 for the Wings For Angel dinner dance and auction fundraising event; on May 31 he will depart for Burbank.
“She’s very happy that Curtis is going to carry the blanket to Ellen and ask her to come sew with her in her studio,” Cheryl says of Angel.
“She just wants Ellen to help her help sick kids.”
Wings For Angel is a fundraiser to help the Magnussen family build a larger Hugginz studio for Angel—the one she has now was provided by Telus employees—giving Angel, who lives with Down Syndrome, autism and a few other issues, some independent living space.
“She’s at an age where all her friends are moving out and living on their own and yet she can’t do that,” says Cheryl. “She needs care 24/7; she wants to live at home but feel that she has her own space as well.”
Before her fundraiser can happen, though, Angel is facing her fourth—and Cheryl hopes her final—jaw surgery in March. This time doctors will take a bone graft from her hip to build up her jaw. This means Angel will be back in a wheelchair for awhile as her hip recovers from the graft.
“Definitely this will be a hard two months ahead with the reconstruction, wiring and tube feedings,” says Cheryl.
“But she is so positive that she can do it and will be able to make it through and keep a happy heart.
“I wish I had her courage and wisdom and faith.”
Angel will take a couple of weeks off to heal, then will be back in the Hugginz Studio to sew blankets. “Angel will nap in the studio a few times each day while she recovers, but will sew between rests as helping her kids is most important to her,” says Cheryl.
Volunteers are always welcome to come and help sew. Please send a Facebook message to Cheryl or call 250-724-7233 to arrange a visit ahead of time.
Volunteers are also needed for the Wings For Angel event. A website is under construction at www.wingsforangel.com, and anyone wishing to volunteer or donate auction items can contact the Hugginz team at firstname.lastname@example.org.