Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cully's Kids Part II: the big announcement

Friday morning day two of Cully's Kids officially kicked off with a golf tournament out at Oxbow Country Club.  It was a hot day- perfect for the outdoor activities.

The first indication that something special was going to take place, was the seating below.  Matt had already told the announcement to those of us in attendance at Usher's the night before, but the anticipation of it was still pretty intense.

Brooks Cullen, Matt and Bridget's oldest, hasn't forgotten playing knee hockey with Nolan at the state hockey tournament.  Just like all the young men that Nolan looks up to and who have taken the time to mentor him, he now feels responsible to be an example for Brooks and younger kids like him. 

Brooks with his younger brother Wyatt.

Some of "Cully's Kids," getting ready for the big announcement.

My tiny camera doesn't have a lot of capability.  But it still gets the essence of the moment.  I love this photo- not because of the composition... but what it says to me.  I see the youngest Cullen boy, Joe, with his Grandpa Terry, talking with Julie, being photographed by Rick who clearly loves the shot, and Bridget is in the background watching.  Bridget is in the middle of being interviewed by one of the 10 different media sources in attendance, but clearly, her heart is with her son.  

And now the big anticipated announcement.  Below is Sanford Medical Center president Dennis Millirons.  Matt and Bridget have just announced that their foundation, the Cullen Children’s Foundation, will donate $1 million to the Sanford Health Foundation to build a therapeutic children’s play area for the new Sanford Children’s Hospital proposed in south Fargo.

The money will go toward building a 3,000-square-foot Cully’s Kids Area.The room will be on the seventh floor, and will be hockey-themed, with a therapeutic and educational environment staffed by professionals. It will also feature play areas, an area for arts and crafts, culinary projects, a library, a learning area, a stadium theater and an interactive area.

By the time Dennis had enumerated all of this, I found myself holding back tears.  Normal- that is what Bridget and Matt want kids fighting cancer to have- a space where they can escape the strain of disease- the needle sticks, the tests, the chemo- and be normal for even a little while.  

Here is my friend Wendy again, who will work closely with the Cullen Foundation bringing in her expertise from all of her years of experience of being a Child Life Specialist.

Brian Lee getting interviewed. Brian just recently signed with The Tampa Lightning to play for two more years in the NHL.  We're so proud of all of our Moorhead hockey pros.

Former Spuds head coach Dave Morinville with former Spud players Jeff Foss and Chris Vande Velde. 

Another young Westra boy helping his Grandpa shoot golf photos.

Taking a break after carrying golf bags for the golf participants.

The Oxbow Country Club has a special place in our heart.  We had our wedding reception there 15 years ago- almost to the day. 

Chris Vande Velde, former Spud and Sioux player, whom Nolan has looked up to for a long time.  Chris is still in contract negotiations with The Edmonton Oilers for next year's season.  

We left that night exhausted and filled, with one day left to celebrate... part III...  


  1. What a wonderful thing to have happen!!! Hurray to people who have the means to make donations like this and DO!!!!! Loved all the shots. Have fun meeting Robin!!!!!!!!!!!!! XO, Pinky

  2. Thanks so much Pinky!! I know we will have a blast!!

  3. Oh, that is so cool, so inspiring... wonderful wonderful!...

  4. That really is so incredible Vicky. Just so inpiring and makes you think. I love all the photos. I cannot believe Nolan looks so grown up - very hansdome young man.


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