Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Things We Do For Max Pacioretty

Last week I spent so much time at work that all I wanted to do was spend all of my non-office hours on my couch.

Until, of course, I got a text message on Thursday from a friend asking if I was interested in volunteering at the Max Pacioretty Foundation charity poker tournament on Friday. Was I interested? She should have known the answer to that question already. I was so interested that over the next 30 hours, instead of trying to relax, sleep, and have a normal day at work, I...

Ransacked my closet and makeup case to follow the one instruction I was given: "Dress to impress." Prepared a bag for makeup and a garment bag for my "to impress" dress. Did not sleep, because I was too excited.

Became a poster child for office efficiency. Typed faster than I have ever typed before. Jumped up and down in my desk chair. Ran out of the office at 4:50-something, apologizing profusely, never looking back.

Jumped into my "to impress" dress, accessorized, lint-rolled, and make-upped as quickly as I possibly could, all the time swearing like an angry Ryan White.

Said hi to Tony Marinaro and found out that he is both the driving force behind this fundraiser and a huge celebrity in Lasalle.

Stopped breathing for a second when I realized that the two guys who walked in were Max Pacioretty and Raphael Diaz. They said hi in our general direction before being ushered off to someplace.

Welcomed a few more guests (some VIPs, some regular humans like myself.) Czechtacular stamped Chris Nilan's hand.

Some of the sports memorabilia at the silent auction.
Yes, that autographed replica Stanley Cup comes with its own NHL tablecloth.

Was asked to sell tickets for a 50/50 raffle. Somehow just naturally approached severyone from Saskatchewan transplants to mustachioed local sportscasters and convinced them to spend $10 on a raffle ticket, and somehow all of those 10s added up to $1300.

Sat down and listened to Annakin Slayd perform "MTL Stand Up" - in the presence of Max Pacioretty. You know that fuzzy feeling you get when you listen to it? It was multiplied tenfold, and I couldn't even see the stage.

Watched as a soccer team of 9 and 10 year olds (part of the night's proceeds went to fund their trip to a soccer clinic), got called into the reception hall one by one like a team walking into a championship game.

Listened to Max Pacioretty accept a warm welcome and make a speech. I'm not sure if he prepared it ahead of time because it sounded like he winged it, like he was speaking from the heart. It sounded like he appreciates us more than we love him.

Remembered that the night Pacioretty was hit by Chara, I went to the TSN 990 studios and Tony Marinaro stayed in-studio with us to help take calls and try to get news about Max's progress. Now here I was, almost a year later, in the same room as both of them. It was unreal.

Went to the gaming floor to help with buy-ins. I know nothing about poker, but I put on a lime-green pinnie that looked like it was dyed by the Joker himself, filled a hand with chips, and pretended I knew how to be a poker wench.

Planted myself next to Czechtacular when she found the best spot for poker-wenching whilst surreptitiously watching Chris Nilan's and Max Pacioretty's tables. Marveled at every facial expression Patches and Diaz made. I have no poker face.

Gasped when my friend Robyn sold chips to Patches himself.

Watched Chris Nilan win and rake in a load of chips, just like in the movies.
Those piles of chips? Property of Knuckles Nilan.
Offered Czechtacular $20 to walk up to Patches and hug him. She didn't.

Compensated for my shyness around Patches and Diaz by speaking to Randy Tieman and his mustache. (By the way, I have a great Randy Tieman story for another day.)

Called it a night after buy-ins ended and went home, thinking that if there were a few more Max Paciorettys in this world, it would be a better place.


  1. It was! It also kind of went by in a blur.

  2. can i defend myself and point out he left before i unchickened out, or

  3. That was in the original first draft, but then I did some heavy editing. But yes, readers, it's true.


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