About 500 people came to Joe Rizza Ford and Porsche in Orland Park on Dec. 21 to meet Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp.
The day was more than just a meet and greet. Attendees were asked to bring toys to the event that would then be donated to Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn. Between 900 and 1,000 toys were collected, worth around $10,000, and led to the largest single donation of toys the hospital has received.
“That was a great part of it,” said Rizza Chief Financial Officer Dan McMillan about the toy collection. “Sharp is just a gentleman. He really understands the importance of family.”
Attendees were treated to food and drinks as they waited for Sharp. Some played quick hockey drills at a goal set up in the Joe Rizza Ford garage. McMillan dressed up as Santa Claus to entertain the younger guests.
During the course of the event, Sharp signed about 450 Blackhawks pucks for attendees, as well as a veritable sea of jerseys, sticks, makeshift Stanley Cups and other items.
Amanda Bettenhausen of Tinley Park got her Patrick Sharp jersey autographed at the event.
“That’s crossed off the bucket list,” she said.
Check out more photos of the event on Orland’s Finest Facebook page, and watch their full video recap of the event above.
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