Hockey fans aren't like other fans.
A tag line in a commercial declaring that hockey fans are more passionate than other sports fans.
And yes, we fans are passionate about our team and united around the game we love so dearly. We are, however, not just passionate about our sport, but also about our communities where we live and helping those that need help.
That was very evident at the Nashville flood relief/NHL tweetup that was held ast night at the Tin Roof. Approximately 60 people attended the three hour event, and through their support of the silent auction, raffle, on-line auction, and outright donations, a little over $2,000 was raised for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's flood relief effort.
People in Middle Tennessee whose lives were dramatically altered by the flood in May will be positively affected because hockey fans aren't like other fans.
An event like this could not happen without a tremendous amount of support and participation. The good fortune that I had was to watch it all come together, and I want to give thanks to all who made this event happen.
Dani Muccio took the idea of a tweetup and through her creativity suggested an on-line auction. Not only did she suggest the auction, but used her contacts and tireless efforts to gather merchandise from other teams that was listed on E-Bay's Giving Works site. That auction is still running and additional monies are being collected for flood relief in Nashville thanks to her efforts.
Thanks to Rebecca Ward, the Director of Community Relations for the Nashville Predators. When I approached Rebecca and asked for the support of the team, she did not hesitate to say yes. I expected to have a couple of items to pick up for the auction, but received eight very nice items for the auction, including a signed jersey and other autographed merchandise. Rebecca personifies the team with her involvement in our community.
We needed a venue to host our event. One of the favorite haunts of the players is the Tin Roof, a local bar and restaurant not too far from the arena. I called and spoke to the manager, Amy Peterson, and she was very helpful and agreed to host our event. Ten minutes after hanging up the phone, I got a call from one of the owners, Jason Shear, to say not only would the Tin Roof host the event, but would make a donation to the cause as well.
The Predators coaching staff jumped on board, with Head Coach Barry Trotz donating four game tickets and a tour of the locker rooms. Assistant coaches Brent Peterson and Peter Horachek lent their support and their presence at the event.
The blogging community went to work and got the message out to the the hockey community at large. Thanks to all the Nashville bloggers for your support and your continued mention of the tweetup right up to the event. A special thank you to the 7th Woman, Dee Karl, for publicizing this event on her blog on the Hockey Buzz site.
A special thanks to Sarah Peters and Paul Nicholson, who crafted a very well done web-site- http://nashvillefloodrelieftweetup.com/ that gives access to the on-line auction as well as provided details for the event.
I have to thank Mrs. View for her efforts. She went about securing some non-hockey related items for the auction, which added to the variety of the auction. Her organizational skills were essential to making the evening run well. She even ran the raffle that night..
Buddy Oakes did his Preds on the Glass radio show from the event, and Jeremy Gover added live coverage through U-Stream.
Christine Maddela, local news anchor from Channel 2, Nashville's ABC affiliate, graciously spent several hours with the guests and was involved with an impromptu interview with Buddy.
Pete Weber, the Predators play by play announcer, Paul McCann, the Preds P.A. announcer, and Tom Callahan, Preds radio announcer were all in attendance and participated in the entertainment of the attendees and the events of the evening.
As you look at the involvement and support that this event received, doesn't something stand out to you, dear reader?
Hockey fans aren't like other fans.
Support came from many areas, some surprising. Su Ring and Wendy Smith are friends from Twitter that I have never met personally, but as they watched the disaster in Nashville unfold and got word of the tweetup, both contacted me via Twitter and said they wanted to help. Su wrote the press release that was distributed to media outlets in Nashville and donated a Pitttsburgh Penguins puck autographed by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Wendy Smith said that she was touched by what had happened in Nashville and wanted to help. I received a Chicago Blackhawks puck from her autographed by Dustin Byfuglien to put up for auction.
Social media has changed the way we communicate and connect, and social media united a group of people across the country that love the great game of hockey to help out their fellow man in a time of need. The response from the hockey community was overwhelming.
And it proved once again that hockey fans aren't like other fans.
The rebuilding of structures and lives in Nashville will take a long time. It will be arduous and there will be times of frustration. It will get done, however, because of the support of people like those I have mentioned. People who care, who are passionate about the betterment of the lives of the people in their community, and who will do what it takes to get the task accomplished. People united by a love of the great game of hockey, and people of character.
Because hockey fans aren't like other fans.