The Lake Erie Monsters held their annual fundraiser, Tip-a-Monster, at the Hard Rock Cafe Cleveland. The event benefits the Monsters' Community Fund, which supports a variety of worthy causes in the Cleveland area. As usual, it was a sold out event where a good time was had by all. Basically, tickets are purchased in advance to cover dinner (with limited menu choices), and the players served as waiters (with professional backup of course). My husband and I lucked out and had Garrett Meurs waiting on us. We also had a spot in a heavy traffic area both close to the stage and near where the players were coming in & out of the kitchen, so we got to talk to most of them (well I actually got to talk to ALL of them, but more on that later).
This year, besides joining in on the fun and parting with some cash, I also tried to dig up what I could about the state of the Lake Erie Infirmary and its residents.
First, the casualty report:
(some of this is a rehash of my comments posted in the Report from the Monsters' Desk)
- Duncan Siemens looked good, no braces, boots, not even a limp. I was told by another fan he's looking at returning somewhere around the end of the month.
- Gabriel Desjardins has a boot on his right foot for two more weeks. Don’t know when after that he can start skating. Thanks to my husband for chatting it up with him and reporting back to me.
- Markus Lauridsen and J.T. Wyman were not there and no word on their injuries.
- Bryan Lerg was, as expected, not there. I did find out that his injury is to the opposite leg that had the ACL repair last year and is a pretty bad one. He is done for the season. No one came out and said it but I assume he's having surgery.
Thx everyone for the messages. Very tough pill to swallow back to back seasons but I know I'll bounce back even stronger! #roadtorecovery— bryan lerg (@BLerg11) January 13, 2014
Fun for the whole family (for a price):
There was a silent auction and a live auction. I honestly don't remember what was offered in the silent auction. A few of the live auction items were:
In addition to tipping the players for service, people tip them to sign things, take pictures, and do all sorts of silly stuff. For example, Paul Carey wore a tiara all night. Someone (Trevor Cheek I think) got paid to braid someone's hair onstage. The Quebecois contingent (Gabriel Desjardins, Gabriel Beaupre, Vincent Arseneau, and Mikael Tam) ended up on stage singing something in French. Well, I wouldn't exactly call it singing:
A woman on a mission (me):
Last year I was quite unimaginative but managed to tip Karl Stollery to get a haircut (which is how I got to know him a bit). This year I wanted to come up with something more fun and spread the wealth around. I made a hat in the Monsters' colors that says "Puck This!" several years ago:
You can view the full set here but here's a sample of the fun I had:
Since I made a point to get to all the players that were there, I got to meet Jace Coyle and Ray Kaunisto, the two guys who had just been called up. They had barely landed in Cleveland the day before, and got thrown in a pit with a room full of crazy fans. Seeing them up close and personal reminded me of how young they all are, not just the new guys but all of them. I'm old enough to be their mother (well, maybe not Clark's mother). It makes it even more impressive to see how accomplished they are when they play.
A good time was had by all:
There are lots more pics on the Monsters' Flickr site. Presumably they will be posting something on the team website with more info and how much money was raised.
This is probably my favorite meet the team event of the year. The guys are such good sports about entertaining us and helping raise funds for the community. It's a don't-miss for any Monsters fan and just one of the many reasons I love this team.