For the second time in four seasons, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. That means forward Patrick Sharp got to bring the iconic trophy to Thunder Bay, Ontario for the second time since 2010.
In what citizens of Thunder Bay hope will continue to be a tradition, Sharp brought the Cup to his hometown, which is located roughly 900 miles northwest of Toronto. The day started with a private function at the George Jeffrey Children's Centre, a local pediatric outpatient facility that has been assisting in the developmental and physical needs of children for more than 60 years.
From there, the hometown hero and his prominent piece of hardware held a two-hour meet and greet at Fort William Gardens. From noon until 2 p.m., Sharp met with hundreds of locals at the arena, where some fans camped out as early as 6:30 a.m. to have a chance to meet Sharp and pose for photographs with the Cup.
The crowd erupted in applause when Sharp brought the Cup onto the arena floor and began a fun afternoon of meeting and reminiscing with locals.
From there, Sharp welcomed friends and family at a series of private functions to be held throughout the night. It was an exciting start to what should be an eventful week in his hometown for the two-time Cup champion.
On Aug. 8, Sharp is scheduled to host his second annual Patrick Sharp Children's Charity Golf Classic. The charity event, which will be held at Fort William Country Club in Thunder Bay, will raise money for the George Jeffrey Children's Centre. Last year's event raised $89,000 and this year's will have Hockey Hall of Fame member Doug Gilmour as a special guest.