The Minnesota Lynx spent Tuesday night at TGI Fridays in St. Louis Park meeting with fans, waiting tables and collecting tips that were donated directly to the Lynx Foundation.
The inaugural event offered a unique opportunity for many Lynx players who have never waited tables or worked in the service industry before. But more than anything, the experience fit the type of off-the-court activities Minnesota likes to do: It provided a forum in close proximity to fans where they could meet the people who support them each night at Target Center.
An impressive crowd came early and stayed throughout the event, beginning at 5:30 and running for about three hours. Many wore Lynx gear and some donned face paint in support of their team.
No question, the Lynx enjoyed the opportunity to hang out, meet their fans and raise money for causes that will help members of the community over the upcoming year.
Its great because we get to interact with our fans, really appreciate the people behind the season tickets, forward Maya Moore said. And raise some money for the Lynx Foundation on a larger scale. When we cant physically be there, whether its providing a grant for certain programs for kids or raising money for breast cancer research, were all getting it done tonight and hopefully there will be a lot of good seeds planted for the future.
The event was well-received by fans, not only because of the proximity to players but because of the cause. Sarah Blake, a fan who arrived a little after 5:30, said she wouldve been there at noon had work permitted.
Scott Skolt Asplund, a staple of Lynx and Wolves games year-round, said Tip-A-Lynx was a nice way to support the community.
One of the things any team out to want to do is support the community, be interactive with the community, Asplund said. Ive seen that with a lot of athletes and, again, the Lynx are doing a great job with the fansnot only because it exposes their team to people but its a great way to impact the youth and kids and just people in general.
In the process, the Lynx got a taste of what its like to work in the service industry, and both Moore and Janel McCarville said they have an appreciation for how difficult the job can be.
I dont know how the actual waitresses are carrying trays without hitting people, McCarville said. Its packed.
I gained a whole new level of respect for waiters and waitresses, Moore said. Because its crazy in there.
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