On a calm, brisk April evening at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Edina, Minnesota, a SKOL chant broke out. A promising outlook in the forecast accompanied by the appearance of a star Viking sparked the offseason jubilation at Southdale Center on Wednesday. The energy spread from the youth in purple jerseys to the establishments’ employees to even the restaurant’s regulars.
The man creating the buzz was Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The 27 year-old signed autographs, took pictures, and playfully swatted away passes while celebrating Community Day with fans and kids from the local area Boys & Girls Clubs.
The @BWWings in Edina is extra purple this evening as @XavierRhodes29_ has dropped in to sign a few ‘graphs, snag a pass or two, & take some pics. Proceeds from this event are headed to Boys and Girls Club. @kare11 #skol pic.twitter.com/hwljxFAlZR
— Brandon McCauley (@bpmccauley) April 18, 2018
Community Day is an annual event held by Buffalo Wild Wings and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to raise money for the Team Up For Kids initiative.
The mission supports youth sports by funding football, basketball, cheer, dance, and step programs at local Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. In addition to jerseys, equipment, and coach training, the proceeds also support sports facilities renovation.
“I would say personally it’s good to put a smile on people’s faces,” Rhodes said following the event. “It’s good to be able to open people’s hearts up. It’s good to just have fun with them.”
Rhodes, who’s in town for the Vikings offseason workout program, said it’s important for kids not to isolate themselves. The main objective of the Team Up For Kids cause is to help all children have the opportunity to play team sports. From the event website:
Playing sports is about igniting a passion, belonging to a team, sportsmanship, teamwork and building self-esteem through great play. We believe every child should have the chance to experience team sports and learn the life lessons and skills that will help them thrive and compete in life. That’s why we’re committed to helping all kids have the opportunity to play on a team.
“I was one of those kids growing up. To see that emotion and see that type of happiness out of those kids, it just lights my day,” Rhodes told Kare 11.
With the NFL Draft less than a week away, both the weather forecast in Minnesota and the Vikings 2018 outlook look promising. The excitement for each was quite evident on Wednesday.
Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants across the country donated 10% of yesterday’s total sales as well as 100% of guest donations to the philanthropy program. On Community Day 2017, the restaurant gave more than $765,000, the largest donation since the annual fundraiser began. By 2020, the company plans to donate more than $17 million. If you’d like to support the BGCA, please visit their website.