GLENDALE – Coyotes players traded their hockey sticks for serving trays for a few hours on March 10 to become waiters for season-ticket holders and to raise funds for the Arizona Coyotes Foundation.
Shane Doan, Mike Smith, Oliver Ekman-Larrson and all of their teammates were joined by a few other Arizona sports personalities at the "Celebrity Waiters Gala." Special guests Larry Fitzgerald and Drew Stanton of the Arizona Cardinals and Paul Goldschmidt and Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks also showed off their table-waiting skills at the event, which raised $203,000.
|Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Louis Domingue. Photos by Norm Hall. |
"This event provides such a great opportunity for our fans to interact with our players in a beautiful setting with the proceeds going to the Foundation," said Elizabeth Kaplan, the Executive Director of the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. "The players have such a good time talking and joking around with our fans."
Guests at the annual event paid $4,500 for a table that seated 10 people, and each table was assigned a "celebrity waiter" who served them food and drinks. The "waiters" also interacted with the guests at their tables and posed for photos/signed autographs.
Todd Walsh of FOX Sports Arizona emceed the gala, which was staged at the Country Club at DC Ranch in Scottsdale.
The event, which was attended by 145 guests, also featured a live silent auction that was conducted by Scottsdale-based auctioneer Letitia Frye. The highlight of the auction occurred when two guests donated $30,000 each to play a round of golf with Fitzgerald.
"This is always a sold out event and we have people asking about it year round," Kaplan said. "We’re already looking forward to doing it again in 2016."
Coyotes captain Shane Doan agreed.
"It’s a fun event," Doan said. "The personalities of the guys come out a little bit more in the interactions, and the guys enjoy it too because it gives you an opportunity to kind of be yourself."
He added: "Obviously we’ve been given so much and to be able to give back is always nice, especially if you can do it in a fun way. So many people get to benefit from us having a good time tonight."