|Andrew Peters (Photo: Getty Images)
Away from the rink, and behind the bar, Buffalo Sabres enforcer Andrew Peters has found an entirely new meaning for the old hockey adage ‘mixing it up.’
To help raise money for the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, the forward has picked up a summer job at Pearl Street Grille on Tuesday nights, bartending from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“I loved the concept as soon as I heard it,” said Peters, who donates his time, and his tips, to the organization.
“A few years ago I was introduced to NCMEC by a friend of mine and I went to a speaking event that they had, where a woman shared a story about her child that was missing and their search for him. It really was an eye-opener for me.
“Just the reality of how someone loses a family member, a child, and the fact that she was still searching [for him]… my fiancée Erin and I just looked at each other because we want to have kids one day and couldn’t imagine going through that. We knew we wanted to help and got on board right there.”
Partnering with Pearl Street Grille, Peters has helped to raise money for awareness with the restaurant donating a percentage of food and beverages to NCMEC.
Peters’ teammates and other Sabres alumni have also joined the effort- including Pat Kaleta, Jay McKee and Rob Ray – taking part in the celebrity bartending.
Nathan Paetsch and Adam Mair are also set to help this week as Peters completes his summer fundraiser Aug. 26.
“We’ve done pretty well so far,” Peters said. “Every little bit helps whether it’s one dollar or $10,000. It may not sound like a lot but it can really help somebody.”
The best method of prevention according to Peters, however, is awareness.
“I was amazed at the number of registered sex offenders out there. And it’s not even that number that is the scariest part,” he said. “If there are that many people that are registered, just think of how many people haven’t registered.
“If you can go online or get any kind of education on the subject and help raise awareness… that can be the difference. That can prevent it from happening to someone you know.”
But when it comes to bartending, Peters admittedly still has a lot to learn.
“I still don’t know where everything is. I look at the fountain gun and I don’t know what each letter stands for. There’s an ‘L’ that stands for lemon-lime soda and and an ‘L’ that stands for lemonade. It’s just ridiculous,” he joked.
“But it’s all worth it.”
For more information on NCMEC, go to missingkids.com