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Jason Zucker of Wild helping launch charity

Team Tucker honors 9-year-old fan with sports for children

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker first teamed up with Tucker Helstrom in 2016, before the 9-year-old died from osteosarcoma on July 2.

This June 3 and 4, Team Tucker will be expanding with the new charity, Team Tucker: Play, Laugh, Love. Zucker will be there, along with founder and Helstrom's mother, Dana, every step of the way.

"We've just enjoyed getting to know them as a family, and we've enjoyed being a part of Team Tucker," said Zucker, who has Helstrom's autograph and his advice to "shoot more" tattooed on his left wrist. "[My wife] Carly and I are helping out as much as we can and we're just honored to be a part of Team Tucker in general."

A Hopkins, Minnesota, native, Helstrom, like most 9 year olds, enjoyed all sports. Team Tucker will honor his memory by providing children the opportunity to play sports in their community without financial burden. Team Tucker volunteers will organize weekly baseball games throughout the summer, with all coaching, equipment and games at no cost to participants. 

"It's all exactly what Tucker would have wanted: to play, laugh and love," Zucker said. "[The kids] are going to have a blast out there."

The launch event and fundraiser will be held June 3 in Minneapolis with other members of the Wild joining Zucker. The first games will take place June 4.

To find out more, visit playlaughlove.org.

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