Lynx Set To Show Personality At Catwalk For Cure Event


Mark Remme
Lynx Editor/Writer

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In case there was any confusion, let Lynx assistant coach Shelley Patterson clear this up for you: There is no shortage of personality in the Lynx locker room, particularly when you get them on the runway at Catwalk for a Cure.

“I think we have a bunch of showoffs on our team to be honest with you,” Patterson joked. “They all have different styles, so they’re able to show off their particular style or something you might not even dream of.”

On Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at the Mall of America, the Lynx will participate in the fourth annual Catwalk for a Cure presented by C.H. Robinson. It’s a night built to raise money for the Lynx Foundation—targeting breast cancer research and support programs throughout the state of Minnesota—but it also allows fans to see a different side of their favorite WNBA team. The Lynx trade in their jerseys for dresses and sneakers for high heels, and no one is ever quite sure which styles will be present when they start walking down the runway.

During last year’s fashion show, for instance, forward Rebekkah Brunson dazzled with her school teacher look, while coach Cheryl Reeve sported an outfit Patterson said no one saw coming.

The girls begin their preparation long before they hit the runway; last week the team began dress shopping for the event. Guard Monica Wright joked finding that perfect dress is like driving to the hoop, scoring and drawing the foul—and the Lynx take that fun-loving philosophy with them to the MOA’s Rotunda for the fashion show.

“As a basketball player, you have that gut feeling when you make a decision on defense or offense,” Wright said. “Same thing with shopping: Very intense environment, and you just have to go with your gut.”

The three hour event starts out with dinner and bowling at Sky Deck Sports Grille & Lanes at the Mall of America at 5 p.m. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the fashion show begins and the players and coaches will be donning their hand-picked personalized outfits and strutting their stuff on the runway. Throughout the show, fans will have the opportunity to bid on exclusive memorabilia, gift cards, certificates and more, such as the Lynx’s commemorative breast health uniforms and shoes.

Each year the Lynx are involved in the event, they become more and more connected to the cause. While they have fun dressing up and interacting with the fans, they also know Catwalk for a Cure is an extremely important initiative that can help people in the long run.

Guard Candice Wiggins said this is a prime example of how WNBA players, acting as role models, can do a great deal of good for the community. She said she connected with one breast cancer survivor in particular over the past year that really put the cause into perspective.

“This year Breast Health Awareness month is going to be turned up for me,” Wiggins said. “I’ve had a new awakening with the people that I’ve met who have suffered from breast cancer. The Catwalk for a Cure is awesome because it ties in everything. Everything is so real, everything is so important. But at the same time we can use that platform, walking down the catwalk, to use it for a good cause. That’s all I’ve been living for. That’s been my lifelong goal since I was 5 years old.”

Tickets for the Catwalk are on sale now for as little as $60 ($55 for season ticket members). Along with the dinner, bowling and show, fans purchasing tickets will also receive a limited edition commemorative team print and a Lynx gift bag. VIP packages are available for $100 ($95 for season ticket members), which includes reserved seating, a meet and greet with the Lynx players after the event, an exclusive behind-the-scenes Catwalk DVD and a 2011 playoff highlight DVD, along with the team print and gift bag.

For more information or to purchase tickets, fans can contact community relations manager Amanda Collins at 612-673-1681 or via e-mail at collins@lynxbasketball.com.

Patterson said it’s a memorable night for the players, coaches and fans alike. And though she was “kicking and screaming” leading into doing it for the first time, she said she’s grown to really enjoy participating in an event that not only benefits a good cause but also shows fans a more personal side of the Lynx personnel.

What surprises are in store this year? Wright said there might be something special prepared for 2012, but she couldn't divulge any secrets.

Patterson said fans will be in for a treat regardless.

“I think we all have a way of showing our personalities and going out of the norm a little bit,” Patterson said. “So we had fun last year.”


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