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Cullen’s event raises more than $1 million

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MOORHEAD, Minn. — The fundraising figures have been totaled up for the 10th and final Cully’s Kids Celebrity Weekend and the returns show it was a banner year for the event.

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Bridget Cullen — wife of former Moorhead High School hockey standout Matt Cullen, who plays center for the Nashville Predators — said the event brought in more than $1,033,000 in its final year, the most it has ever grossed.

“We are blown away,” said Bridget Cullen, who along with Matt serves on the Board of Directors of the Cullen Children’s Foundation. “We can’t believe it.”

Three years ago, the Cullen Children’s Foundation made a pledge of $1 million to the new Sanford Hospital in Fargo to go towards the Cully’s Kids Cabin project that is set to open in 2016.

In that time, through the funds raised at Cully’s Kids events, the foundation secured $2,449,000 in donations.

The Cully’s Kids Celebrity Weekend has historically performed well as a local charity event, bringing in $4,264,000 in the 10 years it has operated.

Bridget Cullen said the goal was to aim high with the final event.

“It was really unexpected because when we made our pledge three years ago, we received a lot of three-year sponsorship commitments so for the community to come through this year and essentially give as one-year commitments just shocked us all,” Bridget said. “It came down to the last week and everyone was so giving. It was amazing.”

The Cullen Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit organization that financially assists children’s healthcare organizations within the Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding areas.

The foundation will continue to fund local children’s healthcare organizations through its grant program in addition to the Cully Kids Cabin project — something the Cullen’s are looking forward to making available to children and their families.

The project will devote an area of the hospital that will be a hockey themed state-of-the-art therapeutic and educational environment for children to enjoy.

“We want that to be our legacy,” Bridget Cullen said. “It’s what we really wanted to focus on and put our money towards. It’s one of those things years from now we’ll look back and say ‘wow we really did this.’ And it is not just Matt and myself, but everybody; our families and everyone in the community. We have a lot of support and we are very blessed.”

Another trademark of the Cully’s Kids weekend that likely will continue on is the kids’ picnic held at Newman Outdoor Field.

“The picnic is the best part of the weekend,” Bridget Cullen said. “We love seeing the kids every year and that is something we’ll continue. I don’t know if it will be next summer or the summer after, but it’s just such a fun event that I don’t think we could ever stop doing it.”

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Tom Mix
Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com  
(701) 241-5562
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