04:24 AM

Goalie Masks Honoring U.S. And Canadian Soldiers Raise Top Dollar In NHL On-Line Charity Auction

Proceeds benefit USO at DFW International Airport, Canadian support organizations

NEW YORK/DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (April 2, 2007) – Two autographed, elaborately painted goalie masks honoring U.S. and Canadian troops have netted a combined $12,030 for the USO at DFW International Airport, the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) and The Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund. The one-of-a-kind items, which were inspired by the tragic death of Canadian solider Mark Wilson while serving in Afghanistan, drew 190 bids to an on-line auction conducted by the National Hockey League. 

The masks, designed and painted by renowned sports artist David Arrigo, feature soldiers in action and were signed by the six goaltenders who played in the 2007 NHL All-Star Game: Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils, Cristobal Huet of the Montreal Canadiens, Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames, Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars. The American Forces and Canadian Forces masks earned top bids of $6,000 and $6,030, respectively. 

Miller joined the Devils’ Brian Rafalski in unveiling the masks at DFW during the NHL All-Star festivities. Along with NHL mascots and dozens of volunteers, the players greeted troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the Airport’s “Welcome Home a Hero” campaign (www.dfwairport.com/heroes). 

"The proceeds from the auction will be put to extremely good use in our facility and will benefit hundreds of soldiers and their families," said Rhenda White-Brunner, executive director of the USO at DFW. ”We have many, many hockey fans who are soldiers and veterans and I know they are extremely grateful to the NHL for recognizing the USO is this manner." 

“The NHL is proud to support the troops,” said NHL Foundation Executive Director Bernadette Mansur. “We appreciate everyone’s participation in making this unique auction possible, and thank everyone who bid for their generosity in supporting this worthwhile cause.” 

The masks were highlighted at the NHL All-Star Game at American Airlines Center in Dallas on January 24. Several soldiers who had returned to DFW from the Middle East on game day were guests of the NHL at the All-Star Game and were treated to a special visit from the Stanley Cup. 

"We truly appreciate the generosity of the National Hockey League for assisting our USO and highlighting its hard work and critical mission not only at DFW, but around the world," said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport. 

About the NHL

The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are educated, tech-savvy and the youngest of all of the fans of any other professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 100 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, NASN, NHL Network and HDNet) and radio (Westwood One, Sirius and XM Radio). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer, Hockey’s All-Star Kids and NHL Diversity, and supports the charitable efforts of all NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com

For more information on David Arrigo, log on to www.davidarrigo.com.

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