The Mauer and Friends Kids Classic recently united sports heroes and supporters of Gillette to improve the lives of kids who have disabilities and complex medical conditions. Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer and his wife Maddie hosted the event at the Twins' Target Field.
More than 20 Gillette patients and their families enjoyed time on Target Field with Joe and his friends. After arriving at the field, Gillette patients spent about an hour with a variety of well-known Minnesota athletes from professional football, baseball and hockey teams. Those top-notch athletes led activities at stations including batting practice, pitching, football throwing, slap shot drills, face painting, photo booth and more. (Watch a live video from the event and take a 360 degree look of the setup.)
After kids finished having fun on the field, they were invited to a luncheon featuring the pro athletes and supporters who pledged to donate money to provide Gillette kids with wheelchairs and communications technology, as well as music, pet and recreation therapies and more. During lunch, families shared information about living with complex medical conditions with attendees by relaying testimonials about their Gillette experience -- some of the transformational stories even drove attendees to tears, especially this one. As a bonus, a local sports anchor asked players questions about their relationship with Joe and to share their favorite sports-related memories. Some athletes even playfully grilled Joe by revealing a few of his embarrassing moments.
Joe and Maddie decided to throw the event because they are huge Gillette advocates and believe in its mission to help children facing complex medical conditions. They've supported the hospital in the past by participating in activities such as visiting patients and hosting special events. Part of their passion for Gillette stems from Maddie's former role as a Gillette nurse.
"To see all of this come together is pretty special," Mauer said during the event. "The sponsors, my teammates and friends coming out and supporting us (and Gillette) is a blessing."
The excitement continued into the evening when the Twins took on the Yankees. Families donned Gillette T-shirts in a special Gillette section of the stadium and cheered the Twins into the evening. Fans were treated to highlights from the on-field activity and luncheon on the jumbotron during the game and were given the option to participate in a text-to-donate drive benefiting Gillette. Fans were also encouraged to use the hashtag #MauerandFriends to follow all of the action from the day.
From spreading awareness about Gillette to giving our patients and families a once-in-a-lifetime experience to raising money for kids with complex medical conditions, the Mauer and Friends Kids Classic was a soaring success. For a comprehensive recap of the day, be sure to take a look at this photo album.