SAINT PAUL, Minn. – In support of Matt Olson, the Isanti, Minn., native who sustained a severe spinal cord injury last month playing junior hockey for the Chicago Cougars, the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks, and broadcast partners FOX Sports North, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, WGN-TV, FM 1003.3 KFAN and WGN Radio, announced today a joint effort to raise funds to assist Matt and his family.
Several one-of-a-kind experiences donated by the Wild and Blackhawks organizations will be made available for online auction through the teams’ websites (www.wild.com/Mo3 or www.chicagoblackhawks.com/Mo3) starting at noon CT on Sunday, March 20, the same day Minnesota takes on Chicago at United Center at 7:30 p.m. The game will be nationally televised by NBC Sports Network, and aired locally by FM 100.3 KFAN in the Twin Cities and WGN Radio in Chicago.
Auction items include rare opportunities like traveling with the Wild or Blackhawks on their respective team planes to a road game. A complete list of items for bid and a link to Matt’s Go Fund Me page to make financial contributions can be found at www.wild.com/Mo3 or www.chicagoblackhawks.com/Mo3. Auction bids will be accepted until noon CT on Wednesday, March 30.
The Wild, Blackhawks and their broadcast partners will continue to promote the joint fundraising effort throughout the next week, culminating when the Wild hosts the Blackhawks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 at Xcel Energy Center. The teams, along with FOX Sports North and Comcast SportsNet Chicago, will dedicate the game to Matt and aim to raise significant funds throughout the night. In arena and on broadcasts, fans will receive frequent auction updates and be encouraged to bid or donate.
Both teams will wear special stickers on their helmets to show their support. Matt’s brother Steve Olson, grandfather Roger Lelm, and cousin Nick Barr will begin the night by making the traditional “Let’s Play Hockey!” call. Matt’s story will be shared in game as well as information on how fans can bid and donate. Hockey players and parents from Totino-Grace, where Matt was a 2014 graduate, will serve as program sellers, donating their proceeds to the effort.
“Just like so many across the State of Hockey, we wanted to help Matt and his family in any way possible,” said Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka. “We are grateful to the Blackhawks organization, and all of our associated broadcast partners for teaming up with us so that we can generate the largest possible impact for Matt and his family.”
“We are proud to unite with the Minnesota Wild and the hockey community to support Matt and his family during this difficult time," said Blackhawks Executive Vice President Jay Blunk. "The Blackhawks organization stands with the Olson family and encourages our fans to consider supporting this important cause.”
Fans are encouraged to use #MO3 on social media to continue raising awareness and offer their support to Matt and his family.