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Girl's charity work gets noticed by Landeskog, who sends tickets, stick

Avalanche captain received $100 donation from Maddie Kegley, founder of own nonprofit

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / NHL.com Staff Writer

Maddie Kegley, an 11-year-old philanthropist from Minnesota, recently caught the attention of Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog. She wanted to give him some money.

 

Kegley founded a charity called Books Against Bullying, which sells new and used books for $1 and turns the money raised over to anti-bullying, youth mental health, suicide prevention and other humanitarian efforts that benefit children.

Landeskog is no stranger to the cause, proven by his work with the charity Friends Colorado. So Kegley wrote him a letter and wanted to pledge $100 to Friends Colorado. The Avalanche were in town to play the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, but an upper body injury kept the captain from making the trip.

Nevertheless, the message got through, resulting in Landeskog shining a light on Kegley's work via Twitter.

Tweet from @GabeLandeskog92: This warms my heart. Thanks for your donation Maddie and keep up this amazing initiative. @FriendsColorado @BooksAgainst https://t.co/PnGZV0SYKb

Landeskog sent Kegley tickets to the game and a stick through NHL Network analyst and ex-NHL player Mark Parrish.

"It was pretty awesome," Kegley told NHL.com. "He has a really great charity and is a great person."

Kegley has run Books Against Bullying since July 2017.

"I love to read and thought [the charity] would be a good idea," Kegley said. 

Her charity got its start while supporting then-San Jose Sharks defenseman Paul Martin's anti-bullying charity Shine A Ligh7 Foundation.

She started a pop-up book donation table in her neighborhood and raised more than $600, which she donated to the charity. She continued her anti-bullying efforts after a student at her school committed suicide later in the year.

"Maddie has always had a really big heart and doesn't like seeing anything bad happen to anyone," said her mother, Amanda. "She just sees with her heart and takes action that way and doesn't want to see other people hurt."

Kegley is a huge hockey fan and supporter of the Wild, and her goal is to donate $100 from her charity to a member of each of the 31 NHL teams.

Thus far she has donated to Landeskog and Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. She hopes Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph will be next. 

Kegley has met some of her hockey heroes through her charity and has established herself as a role model. She'll receive Dakota County's Public Health Achievement Award in the Youth Category on April 9.

"She blows me away every day," Amanda said. "She's my hero. I want to grow up and be just like her."

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