TYUS JONES AND BELL BANK TEAM UP TO GIVE
MEMORABLE NIGHT TO MILITARY FAMILY
NHLPA, UNITED HEROES LEAGUE RELEASE
BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT ALL-STAR HERO EXPERIENCE
TORONTO/HASTINGS, Minn. (March 6, 2019) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the United Heroes League (UHL) published to NHLPA.com today a video highlighting the behind-the-scenes experiences of the All-Star Hero campaign winners at the 2019 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend.
The campaign recognized four military personnel and their families for their services through the players’ NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund: Sergeant Richard Silva, Lieutenant Colonel Darrin J. Janisch, Sergeant Michael Brewer, and Master Corporal Stephen Giza.
Each of the winners and their guests received air travel to and accommodations in San Jose, where they met and interacted with many players in the NHLPA All-Star Lounge, as well as attended NHL All-Star Skills and the NHL All-Star Game.
“The support that the players have for the military, the support they have for their country, they have just been absolutely fantastic,” MCpl. Stephen Giza spoke to his weekend experience.
“We’re eating our breakfast and they’re interrupting us to talk to us. Just taking that time to come down and talk with us and give us that opportunity to interact with them, it just really shows you how much they really care for the military and servicemen and women that do what they do.”
The service members were unaware of their nominations until they were notified that they were headed to San Jose, with NHLPA members and UHL player ambassadors Brent Burns, Jake Gardiner, Matt Hendricks, and Vinni Lettieri delivering the news.
“I was told I had to do this conference call with my son. Really didn’t expect to get a call like that to say we were being invited to come out to the All-Star Game… It’s beyond a dream come true. I can’t even, I still can’t describe it,” said Sgt. Michael Brewer.
Holiday Shopping Spree with the Timberwolves
The Timberwolves were there to make the holiday season a little brighter for those who are going through difficult times.
On Dec. 18, the Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation in partnership with United Heroes League and the Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation hosted 14 children from low-income households, who currently have or recently had a parent in the military deployed overseas, for their annual Holiday Shopping for Kids.
It was a heartwarming event that started on Crunch’s Holiday Bus Ride. That’s where the kids were told they were going to receiver a $500 shopping spree with the Timberwolves players there to help them shop.
Each kid was given a $500 Target gift card to use at the Roseville Target.
“Our Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation was thrilled to partner with the Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation and our valued corporate partners to continue this annual holiday event,” said Jennifer Ridgeway, Timberwolves & Lynx Vice President of Social Responsibility. “We are committed to partnering and serving with organizations that make our community a better place to live, work and play; we applaud United Heroes League in their support of military families. It was amazing to brighten the holidays with the spirit and energy of our players to provide this surprise to so many deserving families.”
And while that was certainly great, the Timberwolves’ corporate partners also stepped up to the plate. TCL surprised each child with a new 1080p Full HD 40-inch TCL Roku TV.
“I almost cried seeing the kids’ reaction when they got the TV,” Wolves rookie Josh Okogie said. “It’s great being able to help the family out . . . Just a little Christmas shopping.”
The child Okogie shopped with, like many others, also got gifts for their loved ones.
“He even got some stuff for his sister that’s not here. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
That wasn’t all. Fitbit gave each child a Fitbit Ace. The Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation gave each child a $500 gas gift card. And to close things out, Target provided an additional $500 gift card to help assist the families during the holiday season.
Each child also got a Spalding basketball signed by the team.
This is an event the Timberwolves do year after year and that’s because it’s something that truly makes an impact on families and gives them an unforgettable moment. Life isn’t always easy, but the Timberwolves made it a little better for these families during this holiday season.
Vikings Surprise Military Mom & Son with Super Bowl LII Tickets
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Air National Guard Maj. Jodi Grayson and her 11-year-old son, Tallon Kiminski, will be attending Super Bowl LII.
More importantly, they’ll be together.
The Vikings kicked off their “Heart of a Viking” campaign on Sunday when they connected Grayson, a single mom who is in her 22nd year of military service, and Tallon via video message during the third quarter of the Vikings-Rams game.
Grayson informed Tallon they will be going to the Super Bowl thanks to tickets from the Vikings.
Vikings Legend Jared Allen, a strong supporter of the military and veterans through his Homes for Wounded Warriors* *organization was in on the surprise and joined Tallon on the field.
Tallon is a participant in the United Heroes League (based in Hastings, Minnesota), and he was able to play flag football with 43 other youth on Saturday at Winter Park. The youth attended Sunday’s game.
“Tallon is a great example of a military kid in the United Heroes League system,” said United Heroes League Chief Marketing and Development Officer Ben Mattson.
“Every day, he wakes up here in the states, and [Grayson] wakes up in a deployed location,” Mattson said. “Being away from your child, being away from your mom is something that most people can’t get their heads around. The ability to do something great for that family, obviously an unbelievable gift from the Vikings is something that’s going to ring in that family’s memory.”
The Minnesota Vikings want to reward fans that are doing incredible things and are inviting fans to share stories of others who demonstrate the Heart of a Viking.
It could be someone fighting a tough battle, helping others in our community or an amazing fan story.
On Saturday, August 5th, 2017 Sgt. Blaisdell returned home on leave to surprise her son James while he was volunteering for United Heroes League bagging groceries!
Three families that combined for 56 years of service, including 17 deployments and 7 Commendations Medals were brought to the 2018 Stadium Series, and were given grants to help pay for their children’s sports fees.
Reporting from Kare 11
The United Heroes League works to helps kids in military families stay active and healthy through sports like hockey while their parents are serving our country.