In an effort to raise money for the ECHO Food Shelf amateur hockey players are going head-to-head in a fun celebrity hockey game match on Thursday, Jan. 20 as a part of Hockey Day Minnesota.
Hot 96.7 and Mankato Radio host, Jeff Lang, is going to be a coach for the River’s Edge Team. Lang’s team will face off against the Mankato Clinic Team coached by radio host Jessica Blais from Country 103.5. Lang didn’t anticipate becoming a coach.
“They reached out to me, actually. They asked me if I wanted to be a celebrity coach and I said ‘for those who can’t play, they can coach’, so that’s what I’ll do,” said Lang.
Both teams competing in the match are made up of local celebrities and people who are involved in the local community.
“The term ‘celeb’ is very loosely used. I definitely don’t consider myself one,” said Lang. “The people playing on the team like to be part of activities [in the community,] so it works out perfectly.”
While it might be the first time Hockey Day is hosted in Mankato, it is not Lang’s first time attending Hockey Day. Lang is excited for the opportunity to be involved.
“I was at the Minneapolis Hockey Day Minnesota event, a different basis all around, but I got to see how it went and it was fun to be part of. Mankato has already gone above what that was,” said Lang. “Getting to be a part of the first event is very exciting. I look forward to being a part of it.”
Amid all the action, Lang also shed light on the reason behind all the fun: charity.
“The celebrity night [proceeds] are going to the ECHO Food Shelf. With the radio stations I work for – Hot 96.7 and Radio Mankato – I’ve helped out with Echo Food Shelf during North Mankato Fun Days,” said Lang. “Being able to give back to them also in the winter is pretty exciting and I’m excited to help out with that.”
According to their website, the Emergency Community Help Organization, or ECHO, provides food to people in Blue Earth County. They donate over 160,000 pounds of food per month. Their food services allow the receivers to select which food items they would like best, rather than receiving a pre-built box.
To support the cause, links are located on the Hockey Day Minnesota website under the events tab to all of your favorite players. In order to match for your donation, Lang shares his coaching strategies.
“I’m basically using famous lines from hockey coaches in movies,” said Lang. “I’m assuming the easiest way to win is to stay warm, and it’s going to be cold, so I have to win!”