“Tip-a-Player” brings athletes together for night of FUNdraising

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Monday was one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Special Olympics team from Rapid City. The Flame partnered with the Rush Hockey team to host “Tip-a-Player.”

Rush players were paired with Special Olympics athletes and servers at Buffalo Wild Wings. The trios spent all evening serving, bartending, greeting, and bussing tables at the restaurant, with all the tips benefitting the Flame. There was even a raffle for a Rush jersey, and the highest tipper each hour was entered to win additional prizes.

“We use it for equipment purchases, uniforms, to help fund our state and area travel events; the expenses that we accrue when we travel for our sporting events,” says Yvette Lassegard, key volunteer and coordinator for the Rapid City Flame.

Not only a fundraiser for the Flame, but also a chance for Rapid City Rush athletes to meet members of the community.

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Some players even got to brush up on old talents.

“It’s been fun; I have two great helpers – Kai and Eric – and they’ve been helping me on it all night; it’s been going really well,” said Rapid City Rush forward Alec Butcher.

I asked Butcher if he’d ever waited tables before. The answer? Yes! And that’s not his only talent.

“I have my TAP Card so I can bartend as well,” Butcher adds.

Buffalo Wild Wings was packed from 4:30 p.m. on, with crowds eager to meet both groups of athletes.

Rush mascot Nugget even made an appearance, much to the delight of the kids.

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