Welcome to Minnesota
Friday, 06.24.2011 / 12:30 AM ET
After a five hour wait for a flight, then an hour and a half wait on the tarmac, we finally had a bumpy touch down at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. We were ready to hightail it out of the airport to get to the hotel. From the hotel we were buzzing over to Lake Prior, MN where Kyle Okposo was playing in a charity hockey game for Hockey for Hopes. It wasn’t our original plan - to hit Okposo’s hometown in style, learning more about where he grew up - but what we stumbled upon instead was pretty cool onto itself.
Hockey for Hopes is run by Hope McBain, the sister of Carolina Hurricanes’ d-man Jamie McBain. The charity raises money for children who are hockey players, who, because of a family death or illness, or economic hardship, need help staying in the sport. Aside from it’s commitment to assist at the youth level, they also award scholarships for Division III players to go to college.
Hope’s passion for the event was evident in an interview she did with IslandersTV. She could hardly contain her excitement.
“Hockey is an expensive sport,” Hope said. “It’s also a great sport. We don’t want kids to have to give it up. We want to help.”
It’s the charity’s first year, and this was their first fundraising event. It’s impressive that they landed some big names in Okposo, and fellow Minnesota natives Zach Parise and Derek Stepan.
BernieMcBain, Jamie and Hope’s father, coached Kyle as a kid and had some stories to tell about him as a young player. You can check those out in the IslandersTV piece which will be posted later.
In any event, it’s been a long treacherous day for our staff. Time to turn in.