Lynx Express Gratitude For Service Men & Women During Military Night


Editorís Note: The Minnesota Lynx will hold its annual Military Night on Aug. 31 against the Tulsa Shock. Leading up to that evening, LynxBasketball.com will highlight members of the team who have family military ties. As an introductory, Part 1 looks at why the organization honors our service men and women by facilitating donated tickets for the Military Night game.

Andrea Allis
Web Editorial Associate

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Having grown up in San Diego where there is a strong military presence, Candice Wiggins has utmost appreciation for our men and women in uniform.

"I came to understand the value of it," Wiggins said. "Anyone who gives their life for our country, it's just so admirable. I look up to them more than any other people in America."

Beginning last week, the Minnesota Lynx organization has been raising thousands of dollars for Military Night on Aug. 31 to be used to buy tickets for members of the military and their families. The Lynx take on the Tulsa Shock at Target Center that night and hope to have thousands of military members and their families in attendance.

"We wanted to do something to thank those who have not only served their country but also sacrificed precious time with loved ones: their families," said Megan Luebke, the Lynx marketing manager. "Just as our fans come out and support us, we want to show our support for the military community."

Military Night is an annual event throughout the WNBA, but for the Lynx, it really hits home. Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Rebekkah Brunson, Monica Wright and coach Cheryl Reeve all have family members who are or were members of the military.

Even for those members of the Lynx who don't have immediate connections, the night for them means a chance to give back to those who have protected their freedoms.

"I know [this night] means everything to them," Wiggins said about her teammates and coach. "But it should mean something to everyone who is a proud American."

Wiggins said she hopes that the military members in attendance will feel gratitude from the Lynx organization and fellow Minnesotans and that this will be a chance for them to enjoy some family time.

"I think they should be proud, and they should feel the real love that is coming from everyone who is participating in this," she said.

Assistant coach Jim Petersen echoed Wiggins's feelings of admiration:

"I think the military aspect is so special because of what they sacrifice for us," Petersen said. "For us to give back to them, to have that is really great.

"Weíve got nothing but love for the military, thatís for sure."

The Lynx organization kicked off fundraising with a sell-a-thon last week in which all employees of the Timberwolves and Lynx were invited to raise money for tickets. So far, they've seen a great response, raising enough funds to provide tickets to over 1,000 military families. A $40 donation is enough to send a family to the game.

The Lynx are accepting donations in any amount from now until game day, Aug. 31. To donate, call 612-673-8400 or mail donations to 600 First Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55403 labeled "Military Donation."

Said Luebke, "It's so fitting that we dedicate a night to honoring those who have served or are currently serving, remember those who have sacrificed their lives and support those whose loved ones are currently fighting for our country."


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