This sold out event had been on my radar for weeks and I was lucky enough to attend as a VIP guest ($250.00 ticket) that granted me early entry into Joe’s, illness as well as access to many of the Blackhawks.
For VIP ticket holders, doors opened at 6:30pm and by the time we arrived, the line for general admission ($60.00) was already wrapped around the venue and continued down the road.
In addition to the extended Ketel One open bar and separate entrance, the VIP access offered a reserved section at the front of the stage as well as access to the balcony above where the players and their WAGs hung out for most of the show. Before general admission guests were allowed to enter, the VIP guests were treated to a special appearance by the Blackhawks’ own Kris Versteeg. Versteeg has been known for lighting up the mic in the past, and he certainly didn’t disappoint with his rendition of Purple Rain. Check out my raw footage below.
The crowd was a solid 50/50 mix of guys and gals with many (including myself) sporting Blackhawks jerseys while others chose to follow the country route donning flannel and boots.
Blackhawks players dazzled behind the bar serving as celebrity bartenders throughout the night while posing for photos and signing autographs – quite the multitaskers. There’s nothing quite like ordering the cocktail of choice from Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith. Drinks were paired perfectly with delicious appetizers provided by Chicago Cut.
The event also hosted a live auction with the bid calling led by US 99.5 Ramblin’ Ray featuring an all-exclusive VIP Blackhawks experience, a trip to British Columbia and even the chance to rent Rocky Wirtz’s boat. A silent auction was also held for fans to get the opportunity to take home plenty of wonderful Blackhawks memorabilia.
Patrick Sharp opened things up by introducing the host of the evening, Duncan Keith. Keith was humbled by the turnout, and took a few moments to thank all the generous sponsors and everyone involved in planning the event.
“The people of Chicago have been so nice to me and my family,” Keith said. “And I think it’s just looking for ways to give back and find ways to give back to some people in Chicago and help support a good cause.”
Shortly afterwards, the stage lit up and Lee Brice, famous for “A Woman Like You” and “Love Like Crazy,” rocked the stage. The crowd was alive as they burst into song chiming in on all of their favorite hits. Brice even debuted a few special songs that are yet to be on the radio.
The party was really rocking as Andrew Shaw joined the fans and crowd surfed in the “Parking Lot Party.” Brice and his band couldn’t leave so easily either as fans roared for an encore, in which they delivered singing a few more hits for that “Crazy Girl.”
The Keith Relief Foundation was founded in 2011 by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, Duncan Keith and his wife, Kelly-Rae. The charity is dedicated to alleviating the financial and emotional burdens of families and individuals suffering from medical crisis. To aid in their efforts, you can donate to the charity here.
Follow Duncan Keith on Twitter to stay up to speed with upcoming events for the Keith Relief Foundation, as well as stay in the loop with what’s happening with Duncan.