On August 23rd, 2018, Washington Capitals star T.J. Oshie attended a wine tasting event with his wife, Lauren, hosted by the Athletes for Animals charity foundation. Through the organization, Oshie, alongside many other athletes from the NHL, NFL, MLB, and NBA have united to raise money Athletes for Animals charity, which is famous for helping shelter and care for animals with nowhere to go.
Last night, however, there was a focus on the NHL stars. Especially ones from the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, where the event took place. Founder David Backes of the Boston Bruins, Zach Parise and Nate Prosser, both of the Minnesota Wild, and Ryan McDonagh of the Tampa Bay Lightning were just a few of the names in attendance last night, alongside Oshie, who has spent many years in Warroad, MN.
Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, David Perron of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues are also noteworthy ambassadors for the charity.
Photo from @fixandrew via Instagram
The two-hour event was held at Leopold’s Mississippi Gardens in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was open to the public via purchasable tickets that allowed entry to the social event.
The evening was filled with NHL stars, lovable dogs in need of a home, a silent auction, many fun activities including a foam puck toss, and great wine for tasting.
All proceeds went to the Athletes for Animals foundation in an effort to raise awareness for their rescue animals and hopefully find a home for them.
About the Founders
David and Kelly Backes have a passion for supporting a variety of animal welfare initiatives and philanthropic endeavors. Over the years, they have devoted their time to dozens of shelters, visited some of the nations most dire puppy mills and helped find refuge for a few special dogs from Sochi, Russia.
Following years of volunteering at the local humane society in college, their dedication to animals was amplified when they first fostered and later adopted Rodney, a severely abused and neglected dog from Stray Rescue of St. Louis. The couple helped rehabilitate him and say he is their inspiration for the start of their efforts. Now, after 12 years in the professional sports world, they know more than ever just how important awareness and education are when it comes to helping out those in need.
By Chris Laroche