September 25, 2022

Community: Elks celebrate Joey Moss Day at new school

The Edmonton Elks joined in celebrating the first ever Joey Moss Day at Joey Moss School in the city’s southwest on Friday.

Elks defensive back Aaron Grymes, Green and Gold alumni Jed Roberts, and Double E mascot Punter were among those partaking in the assembly and activities at the newly opened K-7 school. As part of Joey Moss Day, students learned about their school’s namesake, who was a locker room attendant with the Green and Gold for well over 30 years, from 1986 until prior to his passing in 2020.

Born with Down Syndrome, Moss taught many people about acceptance and inclusivity through his work, community involvement and advocacy for supports for people with disabilities in the Edmonton region. Tackling each day with passion, a positive attitude, and an incredible work ethic, Moss touched the lives all of he crossed paths with, including Grymes, who spent five seasons around Moss.

“To me it’s just full embracing what Joey Moss was about,” Grymes said of the inaugural Joey Moss Day. “That smile, that hard work. A dude who didn’t let things hold him back and bother him. Not only was he smiling but he was going to put a smile on your face as well.”

Moss, who also worked as a locker room attendant with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, is immortalized on a mural at 7016 99 Street. He was presented with the Mayor’s Award by the City of Edmonton in 2007, awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

This season the Elks opened the Joey Moss Championship Suite, which includes a range of items and images showcasing his life, in support of the Joey Moss Memorial Fund through the Winnifred Stewart Association. The Green and Gold also honour their late locker room attendant with the Joey Moss Award, which is presented annually at the conclusion of Elks training camp to a player who has persevered through adversity while embodying Moss’s positivity.

Edmonton Public Schools announced in June 2021 that it would pay tribute to Moss by naming a school after him. Joey Moss School opened its doors at 1905 182 St. at the beginning of this school year. Elks and Oilers imagery and colours decorate the facility.

“I know for a fact that if Joey was able to walk into this school he’d be truly happy,” said Grymes. “That’s what Joey Moss was: always happy.”