Posted by: emmaharger | August 15, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished

I saw this on Nightly News tonight, so perhaps the wider exposure will help bring attention to this story. However, the account from the Faribault, Minn. newspaper is the most complete and mentions important details missing from national news accounts.

There was a recent charity hockey game, Shattuck vs. the World, held in Faribault, which is home to the famed hockey school Shattuck-St. Mary’s (the list of alumni is crazy long and includes Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise and Kyle Okposo, who was on hand for this game). At this game, they had one of those raffles where you pay a little money, get a ticket and then potentially get the chance to shoot from center ice into a net fitted with just a teenytiny opening.

Pat Smith asked his 11-year-old son Nate if he wanted to have his name on the ticket and Nate said no because he just recently had a cast removed from his arm. So Pat scribbled down the name of Nate’s identical twin brother Nick and off the ticket went. However, when that same ticket was drawn, Nick was outside and Nate decided he’d give it a try–and it went in the net. Okposo said he feels like he probably wouldn’t have been able to make the shot himself and he’s a pro! Better yet, Nate won $50,000 for his stellar ability.

But Pat starts feeling that twinge of guilt. He calls the event organizers and tell them about the Nate-Nick switcheroo. This now puts the status of the $50k in jeopardy. The twins’ mom Kim points out that nothing explicitly said that the ticketholder had to take the shot, although a representative of the organizers says that legally it has to be that way. Sounds like some wires got crossed.

The Smiths are kind of really hoping for this nice little prize. Not only do they want to put some of it away for the kids’ college, they also want to donate some to their school’s hockey association. Oh yeah, by the way, the kids actually go to Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

In typical Midwestern style, the Smiths were just being honest, good people and they may be punished for it. I think that’s a cryin’ shame, to put it in Southern parlance. They sound like a nice, decent family that could really put the money to something good. The event organizers should see the light and award the family that money anyway. They’ll use it for good things that can benefit the community. What’s better than that?

Then, I think perhaps some NHL scouts should keep Nate in mind for the future. Just sayin’. The kid’s got talent.


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