TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- St. Louis Blues coach Mike Yeo knew he needed to do something to help the city of Houston after it was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey last month.
Yeo played for the Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League from 1994-99 and was captain his final season when they won the Turner Cup. He was Aeros coach during the 2010-11 American Hockey League season and helped them reach the Calder Cup Final.
So when some areas of Houston were devastated by more than 50 inches of rain, Yeo had to do something to help. With assistance from the Blues, Yeo set up a charity auction that raised $30,899 to be donated to the American Red Cross.
"I spent some real great periods of my life in Houston," Yeo said Saturday. "Great memories both on and off the ice. Professionally went to the finals once as a coach and won a championship there as a player. Both of my kids were born in Houston, met a lot of great friends in my time there. Just felt compelled if there was anything I could do."
Items up for bid included Yeo's game-worn jacket from the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, and several fan experiences, including a trip on the Blues charter for a game against the Dallas Stars on Dec. 28.
"Obviously, people have been so generous donating the money," Yeo said. "If they can get something really cool in return, in something that's unique and maybe sort of intimate opportunity to spend some time with the team, then I think that's a pretty cool thing."
Yeo said he was grateful to see a number of monetary donations that came in from fans who didn't win any of the items up for auction.
"The more people that help, the better," Yeo said. "The amount of people wanting to make a difference has been great to see."
Yeo owns a house in the Houston area and was keeping close tabs on the storm as it approached the city.
"The tenants in the house, they're OK," Yeo said. "We have some damage to our house, but it's small compared to what most people are going through. I'm just happy that the tenants are good, our friends are good, and hopefully the city is on the long road to recovery."