Saturday, February 25, 2012

One Thing the Blue Jackets are Always Good At...

Ignore the dangling participle there in the title, but in this slide towards the end of the season, I wanted to give a spotlight to one positive this season which is an annual event that the Blue Jackets Foundation holds: the "Black Tie Blue Jackets Style Show" (or as many of us call it:: #CBJBlackTie)

Kim and Sharon
I have a dream to be able to attend this event some day, but in the interim, I turn this blog post over to my dear friends Kim and Sharon who were able to attend this year and they were gracious enough to share their experiences with me about the night. Special recognition to these women as Kim is currently waging her own amazing battle against cancer - so her perspective is particular precious in my eyes. Thank you BOTH for taking the time to share your memories and photos from a great great

We've seen the evening mentioned on Jackets TV, and on Fox Sports Ohio coverage, but I'm always a fan of those first-hand perspectives...so here we go!




1. Talk a little bit about the schedule for the night...how was the evening set up? I know you've been to other events such as Hockey N Heels and post-game autograph sessions - how did this night compare?
 We arrived at the event and were greeted by free valet parking. We were instantly surprised by the red carpet laid out for everyone to walk on. From 5:30 to 7:00pm was a cocktail reception and hors d'oeuvres, both of which were delicious. During that time it was very casual as you could eat and drink alongside the Blue Jackets players. There were several tables of silent auction items, ranging from golf packages, signed hockey sticks and pads, vacation getaways, and gift baskets. We would both have to agree that this was probably the most fun part of the evening because we witnessed the players selecting their drinks and having casual conversations with those attending. For the record, we did see several players texting and playing around on twitter. This should put a smile on the faces of the Twitter faithful. :)

2. Tell me how they wove the mission of the charity into the evening?
Love you #50
This year’s theme of the event was Strength, Hope, and Courage. For the word Strength they had a performer, like the ones you see at cirque De Solei, who performed on bilateral ropes to show off her strength. Hope was spotlighted by the Ohio State ukulele club playing Over the Rainbow. Their performance was uplifting, to say the least. Courage brought the most tears as they had two former heroes, who are now cancer free, read a poem by Dr Seuss. Everything was appropriate in proportion. Then the mission of giving was represented by a live auction with an auctioneer. Items auctioned included a Greenbrier golf package which went for $18,000, Brody the  Labradoodle at $7000.00, All-Star Weekend package, and donations to improve the foundation center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

As a cancer fighter, I found myself in tears on several occasions. The whole event was handled beautifully. It was very sad to see how different the views of a cancer diagnosis are handled. Children do not take the diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence, unlike adults who think they are going to die. They are truly courageous and strong.

3. Obviously, we all love to interact with the CBJ players - did you get to spend time with a lot of them? Who was your favorite? Who really stood out as part of the event (who was "getting it")
During the actual dinner event you really do not get to interact with the players. Most of the interactions took place during the cocktail reception. I was shocked at how casual the players were. Standing in line behind Wisniewski, as he selected his drink for the evening, it was funny because as fans, you forget that they are people just like us. During the runway show, Huselius and his wife stole the spotlight by dancing like fools with their hero. Most the players got into the runway show by strutting their stuff.
Um DELICIOUS!
4. As a hockey fan, what does the night mean to you?
Sharon: It means to me that the Columbus Blue Jackets stand for more than just hockey. They stand for service and charity to the entire city of Columbus. The players give freely of their time on AND off the ice, and that is something that we, as fans, can all be proud of.
Kim: The night was a time to celebrate the amazing courage of this year’s heroes. They have endured the hard chemotherapy, radiation and surgery at such a young age. For three hours they were the spotlight and they enjoyed it.

5. What will be your favorite memory of the whole night?
Kim and Cappy #61
 Kim: It's hard for me to pick one favorite memory, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be the hug that Rick Nash gave  me. One of the funniest things was that I almost ran into Sanford.

Sharon and Steve Mason
Sharon: For me, my favorite memory of the night was the conversation I had with Steve Mason. It wasn't because he's my favorite player or a fan girl moment, but because we had a conversation that I hope left him aware that not everybody blames all the team’s problems on him. We seemed to connect and agree on issues with the team. I did not feel like I was having a conversation with a "celebrity," more like a friend

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