The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/20/14 at 04:43 PM ET
In the charitable news department:
The Grand Rapids Griffins are holding a charitable meet-and-greet with Jordin Tootoo on Saturday and will be raising funds for Duchene Muscular Dystrophy research on Friday, but if you don't find yourself in Western Michigan this weekend, the Livingston Daily Press & Argus's Brian Beaupied notes that the Red Wings' Alumni Association will be taking part in its most...unique...game of the season on Saturday night in Brighton, MI:
Scott DesAutel loves the game of hockey — playing it and using it to help his community. On Saturday, DesAutel’s Well Church All-Stars will square off against Detroit Red Wings Alumni in the fifth annual Hockey Night in Brighton at the Kensington Valley Ice House.
The event will benefit the Livingston County Shop With a Cop program, ARC of Livingston and Stiggy’s Dogs — which pairs shelter dogs with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
DesAutel has also teamed up with the Michigan Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to hold a bone marrow drive, inspired by late former Red Wings player Shawn Burr and longtime Brighton hockey and girls soccer booster Jim “Zub” Niemi, who is currently battling leukemia.
“We use the motto ‘It’s much more than a hockey game,’” said DesAutel, one of the event’s organizers. “The hockey part is really fun. I grew up playing hockey and attending church here and tried to think of ways I could use my love of the game to better my community. It all started by getting out and helping organizations that really need help.”
Among the notable former NHLers expected to play are: John Ogrodnick, Pat Peake, Brent Fedyk, Eddie Mio, Petr Klima, Wayne Presley and Sergei Samsonov. DesAutel said former Red Wing and the team’s current TV color analyst, Mickey Redmond, and Grind Line members Joey Kocur and Darren McCarty may also participate.
Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tickets at the door are available for $10 with V.I.P. tickets going for $50 that include dinner after the game at the American Spirit Centre in Brighton.
Again, on Monday, the Red Wings will take part in a charity poker tournament at the MotorCity Casino, and on Friday the 28th, Kevin Miller will host a game between Red Wings alums and Michigan State University alums in East Lansing.
And on Monday, March 3rd, the Grand Rapids Griffins will be hosting their annual wine-tasting event:
The Grand Rapids Griffins have teamed up with Easter Seals Michigan for the third annual Corks, Pucks and Brews wine and beer tasting fundraiser to be held on Monday, March 3 from 6-9 p.m. at the Goei Center.
Griffins players will serve over 100 varieties of wine and craft beer samples to guests at the event, highlighted by live music, hors d’oeuvres and silent and live auctions. Items up for bid include two separate Chicago Cubs packages consisting of 4 suite tickets, food and parking for upcoming games in Chicago (April 10 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates; June 3 vs. New York Mets); use of a suite at a Griffins game during the 2014-15 season; two tickets to the Katy Perry concert at Van Andel Arena on Aug. 10; two round trip Southwest Airline tickets; a sterling silver necklace and bracelet from Siegel Jewelers; casino packages, including a one night stay and dinner for two at Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa; gift cards and more.
“This event has become a fabulous addition to our organization’s commitment to community,” said Bob Kaser, Vice President of Community Relations and Broadcasting for the Griffins. “We are extremely proud of our strengthening bond with Easter Seals and their extensive efforts to support both youth and adults with a comprehensive array of services.”
New to the event this year is presenting sponsor Flagstar Bank. “Flagstar Bank is excited to support Easter Seals Michigan as the presenting sponsor of Corks, Pucks, and Brews,” said Laura Borden Priest, Flagstar VP, Market Manager West Michigan. “Our Slapshot Sweepstakes, which anyone over the age of 21 can enter to win good stuff from the Griffins, has been a big hit and generated a lot of excitement for the event.”
The Goei Center is located at 818 Butterworth St. SW. Tickets are on sale now for $35 (or two for $50) at essmichigan.org or by phone at (616) 942-2081. All proceeds from the event will benefit Easter Seals Michigan programs and services right here in West Michigan.
Easter Seals Michigan is the leading nonprofit provider of services for individuals with disabilities, behavioral health illnesses, emotional impairments, autism and other special needs. Founded in 1920 and spanning the entire state of Michigan, Easter Seals has been helping those with special needs, and their families, live better lives for over 90 years. Through therapy, training and education, Easter Seals reaches over one million children and adults through their nationwide network of 450 service sites.
Update: The Griffins just posted a presser regarding Blashill's initiative:
The Grand Rapids Griffins and head coach Jeff Blashill will join the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy this weekend in support of Western Michigan University’s “No Bad Days” campaign. In an attempt to raise money and awareness for DMD research and cure efforts, the players will wear stickers on the back of their helmets, and Blashill will donate $100 of his own money for every goal scored by the Griffins on Friday and Saturday.
A cause close to the heart of Blashill, WMU’s “No Bad Days” will raise funds for Jesse’s Journey, an organization aiming to find a cure for DMD. As head coach of the WMU Broncos during the 2010-11 season, Blashill worked alongside associate coach Rob Facca, whose son, Louie, is affected by DMD.
In conjunction with Jesse’s Journey, “Grandpa Bob’s 4,000-Kilometre Walk for Louie” will take place from May to December, when Bob Facca, Louie’s grandfather, will walk from Quebec City to Winnipeg in order to raise money for DMD research. In May 2012, Grandpa Bob walked 500 kilometers across Ontario and raised $250,000 for his cause.
Diagnosed in roughly one in every 4,000 boys, DMD is a degenerative genetic disease that affects the muscles of the body, including the arms, legs, heart and brain. While there currently is no cure, researchers have made major strides toward a cure for the disease, thanks largely in part to fundraising.
Jesse’s Journey has funded more than $1.2 million in new DMD research projects in both the United States and Canada. Through donations, the organization has supported research that has made major advancements in clinical discoveries, helped children with DMD to live longer lives and made significant improvements in the quality of life for those living with the disease.
If you would like to make a pledge towards Jesse’s Journey or learn more about “Grandpa Bob’s 4,000-Kilometre Walk for Louie,” please visit http://jessesjourney.com/.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.