A Minnesota Wild fan is trying to combine her love of her team with a passion for helping people in one of the coolest ideas you’ll see this week.
While the team they root for is guilty of consistently breaking their hearts, Wild fans are the best. Time and time again they display exactly what we’re looking for when compiling our annual Fandom 250, whether it’s passion at the arena or incorporating their fandom into helping the world be a better place.
Gina Smith, a life-long Minnesota hockey fan, exemplifies those qualities. Along with her friends, she’s trying to combine two things she’s immensely passionate about: Helping people and rooting for the Minnesota Wild. Specifically, rooting for star forward Nino Niederreiter.
The idea originated when Gina and her friends began swapping old prom pictures on Twitter. Most of the friends still had their old prom dresses, which slowly snowballed into the idea of getting everyone together for an adult prom party — dubbed #TwitterProm — to re-live the good ol’ days.
High school reunions are cool, but Prom-unions are even better. Double that when it’s all going to a good cause.
Rather than simply dressing up for the sake of it, Gina is trying to use this opportunity to raise some money for charity. With the help of her friends, she put together a promposal aimed at inviting Nino Niederreiter and other Wild players to #TwitterProm. Doing so, Gina says, would offer the chance to help raise money for Children’s Hospital in St. Paul.
“I know the Wild have also done a lot of work with the charity we picked,” Gina said. “It might be something that he would appreciate and want to get on board with.”
Even if the Wild don’t end up seeing her video, it’s absolutely worth your time. With a track by local band Trampled by Turtles, the promposal is an infectious taste of Minnesota Nice.
While Gina claims to be one of the most uncoordinated people you’ll meet, hockey has always been part of her fan DNA. This is thanks in large part to how embedded the sport was in her childhood, from backyard ponds to makeshift floodlights put up by the fathers so kids could play deep into the winter of night.
“I spent hours as a child watching all the neighborhood kids play pond hockey,” Gina said. “Of course, I was always watching from my bedroom window, even when I was supposed to be asleep.
So I think I’ve just been a hockey fan pretty much most of life.”
That’s a passion that has been passed down from her family’s love of the North Stars and morphed into a love of her own for the Wild; with Nino Niederreiter as the conduit, of course.
“I think [Nino’s] great on the ice, but I also love his personality off the ice too. I mean he had a Twitter account just for his socks. He can sing and play the ukulele. Seems like a great guy to bring to a party.”
Even if Nino doesn’t show up to this little prom bash, Gina is hoping other Wild fans like her will gather to trade war stories of failed playoff series or celebrate a shared love for their team. Part prom party for charity part Wild fan therapy session, the bash is happening on May 12th.
“The Wild hockey community really is amazing. I’ve met so many wonderful people through a shared love of this sport here in the State of Hockey, and it never ceased to amaze me, as to how giving this community is.”
Any Wild fans — or fans of any team — interested in attending #TwitterProm can find more information here.