Old Country Buffet Donating 15% of Sales to DTBL on April 26th

Old Country Buffet Donating 15% of Sales to DTBL on April 26th. On April 26, 2014, from 4pm-8pm, Old Country Buffet will be donating 15% of sales to Defending The Blue Line®. You must print the FLYER or show an Old Country Buffet or Defending The Blue Line® social media site on your phone.  Come on into a designated location below, purchase a meal, and 15% will be donated to DTBL. During this promotion, Old Country Buffet will have free games, prizes, and entertainment. Bring your friends and family because the more people that participate in this benefit, the more money Defending The Blue Line® will make to help military kids with their dreams of playing hockey.

Minnesota Locations:

Richfield – 9 East 66TH St.
Fridley – 6540 University Ave.
St.Cloud – 3333 West Division St.
Burnsville – 14150 Nicollet Ave. S.
Crystal – 5526 West Broadway
Roseville – 2480 Fairview Ave. N.
Maplewood – 3000 White Bear Ave.
Coon Rapids – 3580 Main St.
West St. Paul – 2000 South Robert St.
Woodbury – 7433 Currell Blvd.
Maple Grove – 13603 Grove Dr.
Mankato – 1861 Adams St.

Old Country Buffet donates to DTBL



Events No Comments

When Hockey and the Military Collide

When Hockey and the Military Collide

by Emilie Wiener

Emilie Wieners

When Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonathon Blum’s fiancé Emilie Baum came across the Defending the Blue Line twitter account one day this fall, she urged him to look into the charity group and how they could help. It was a perfect blend of their lives, with him being a professional hockey player and her being a member of the National Guard. He did, and then reached out to the charity to see how he could help them out.

According to DTBL’s Director of Communications Bryan Reynolds, this would be one of many ways Blum would make a positive impression on the charity. Reynolds said “Typically we approach players and talk to them about supporting the charity. Jon was the first player to approach us, without us needing to reach out first.”

Blum also became one of the professional hockey players who go above and beyond when it comes to supporting military members and their families. He has purchased multiple tickets for all of the Iowa Wild’s home games, and used them to start a group called Blum’s Brigade in Des Moines. Only a handful of athletes donate tickets all season long.

Contrary to popular belief, athletes have to buy tickets to the games just like the general public does. He donates the tickets to local military families and then spends time with the families once the game is finished, often times giving them a tour of the team’s locker room.

Blum says “To be able to thank them personally for their service and for what they’ve done for our freedom and our country is always a thrill for me.”

When he talks about Baum’s military service and career, you can hear in his voice how proud he is of his fiancé and her career. Baum joined the National Guard when she was 19, and specialized in intelligence.

She has enjoyed being able to show Blum a side of life that many professional athletes don’t experience first hand.

“I was able to show Jon what it’s like in the military. He even got learn how to fly a Blackhawk helicopter. It’s unfortunate with all the moving, it’s been hard for me to keep up. My dream was to stay active. When I met Jon I was doing marketing for the Army, doing commercials and writing for a military magazine.

It’s just been a really good experience of showing him the military side of life, and obviously he’s been able to show me the hockey life. We’ve made a really good balance between the two lives. Supporting Defending the Blue Line has been a combination of our two worlds, so that’s been really cool.”

Blum talked about how they managed to balance the hectic lives of a professional athlete and a military member, which isn’t as different as you would think.

“It was nice being in Nashville, when she would only have to go 2 hours away to Kentucky for her drill once a month for a couple of days. Sometimes she would be gone for 2 weeks to different places.

It’s kind of like the same thing; I go on a long road trip for a week, week and a half. She kind of understands what it is like to be alone when I leave, and I feel the same way when she has to go. It’s pretty cool that we both get to have lives like that, where we understand when we’re together to cherish the moment.”

Blum and Baum also volunteer with other charities. Blum was recently named Iowa Wild IOA Specialty Man of the Year, due to his work with Defending the Blue Line and an animal rescue shelter in Iowa name Animal Rescue League (ARL). The couple has two adopted dogs themselves, and work to bring awareness of how rescuing a dog can save their life.

Blum describes the work they do with the shelter by saying “with ARL, we try to get people to adopt dogs instead of buying from breeders. We think it’s great for the dogs, they get a second chance at life. Most people forget about these dogs and want to pay thousands of dollars, when you can go help dogs that have been abandoned or beaten and give them a second chance.”

Overall, Blum tries to keep things in his life in perspective. “People call professional athletes heroes, but we just play a game for a living and we live a pretty good life. Military families go through a heck of a lot more than us. They leave their families to go protect our freedom for a year at a time, and some people don’t come back. They pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”


Players, Uncategorized No Comments

DefendingThe Blue Line to Host Celebrity Golf Event




Bryan Reynolds, Director of Communication, (763) 226-6959, Bryan@DefendingTheBlueLine.org
Reide Housley, Spokesperson, (651) 260-0363, ReideHousley@DefendingTheBlueLine.org

Camo Classic Golf Tournament Defending The Blue Line

    PRIOR LAKE, Minn. Defending The Blue Line and Defending The Base Line are proud to announce that they are hosting a celebrity golf tournament to benefit the children of military members so they are afforded every opportunity to participate in sports. The tournament will be held at The Meadows at Mystic Lake and will feature 36 foursomes, each of which will be paired with a pro athlete. 

   This is not a traditional golf tournament, it is an extreme experience. Each hole will feature various military inspired themes in addition to popular tourney contests. Tied in with the tournament is a nationwide online silent auction that includes many highly sought after items from the NFL, NHL, MLB, AHL, NBA, NASCAR, and more.

“We’ve got some really cool ideas up our sleeve,” said Shane Hudella, Defending the Blue Line President. “This tournament will embrace everything that Defending The Blue/Base Line is and will be like no other golf tournament you’ve ever seen.”    To register for the event please visit:  www.defendingtheblueline.org/CamoClassic

Defending The Blue Line is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by a group of National Guard soldiers from Minnesota. The charity assists families of all branches of the military with costs associated with hockey and baseball. They provide financial assistance for registration fees, free equipment, summer sports camps, and send many deserving families to watch National Hockey League and Major League Baseball games.

Defending The Blue Line is excited for this opportunity to further help military families and celebrate the service of our heroes. Keeping the kids of military families focused and active in sports is a great way to help keep their minds off of the stress associated with a parent serving our nation.

Tournament Partners Include:

Sponsors Camo Classic

Follow Defending The Blue Line on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

DTBL, Events No Comments

Young Hockey Player Celebrates Birthday With Equipment Drive

Young Hockey Player Celebrates Birthday With Equipment Drive

It’s Jorgen’s birthday and he wants to help the military kids play hockey. For Jorgen’s birthday, his parents have reserved an hour of ice at the local arena where all of his friends will play hockey. Instead of having his friends get him a gift, Jorgen would like them to donate to Defending The Blue Line® by bringing in new or gently used hockey equipment.

Jorgen’s birthday game is on April 19, 2014 at Bielenberg Sports Center, 4125 Radio Dr, Woodbury, MN

The hockey gear collection box will be set up at Bielenberg Sports Center from 1:00pm Friday, April 18th until 10am Monday, April 21st. Please honor Jorgen and help the military kids play hockey by bringing in your new or gently used gear.  If you would like to donate to DTBL  in honor of Jorgen’s birthday, click here.


Jorgen Mehus (10 going on 11) is a right-winger for the 2003 Machine Black AAA ice hockey team.

Jorgen says, “I think Defending The Blue Line® is a great program because kids that want to play hockey or think it might be a fun sport should be able to play. Defending The Blue Line® helps those kids play hockey by providing gear and money for them. So, I’m going to have a Birthday party that’s going to have kids donate money or equipment to Defending The Blue Line®.”

This young man’s dad is an F-16 pilot in the Wisconsin Air National Guard and has deployed 4 times. That’s why Defending The Blue Line® is so important to us and why we want to help.

Jorgen started playing hockey in Hudson, Wisconsin, where he spent 3 years as a mite before playing two squirt seasons at Minnesota Made in Edina, Minnesota. This past season he also played squirt hockey for the Woodbury Predators Squirt A after moving from Hudson to Woodbury, Minnesota, this past fall.

Thank you Jorgen for your awesome support for military children.


Equipment Drive, Youth No Comments

National Pond Hockey Championship Presents a $55,000 Check to DTBL

National Pond Hockey Championship Presents a $55,000 Check to Defending The Blue Line®.  The North American Pond Hockey Championships were held on January 24 – 26, 2014 on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, Minnesota.  The event brought in a fantastic $55,000 for DTBL.  DTBL was able to pay $50,000 in hockey grants to military kids because of this donation. Thank you to everyone involved who helped make this event a success.

Pond Hockey check presented to Defending The Blue Line

Defending The Blue Line® was the charitable beneficiary of the North American Pond Hockey Championship with 100% of the profits going to help military kids with their dream of playing hockey. “We are super fortunate and honored to be partnering this year to benefit the families we support.” – Defending The Blue Line®.

More information on the event can be seen by clicking a link below:

Video highlights of North American Pond Hockey Championship

North American Pond Hockey Championship

DTBL photos of the Pond Hockey Championship

Sponsors for the  National Pond Hockey Championship

Jeff Stone photos from the  event

Video of MN Wild Zach Parise talking about the 2014 North American Pond Hockey Championship

Pond Hockey Championship Video – from Kare 11

Pond Hockey Championship Video – from WCCO


Events, Partners No Comments

Julianne’s Dreams of Playing Goalie Come True

Julianne’s Dreams of Playing Goalie Come True. Defending The Blue Line® provides free hockey equipment to military children. Recently, Julianne’s parents ordered goalie equipment from DTBL and sent us the note below when the equipment arrived. This is why we do what we do!!!

Defending The Blue Line helps Julianne play goalie

“Julianne is 11-years-old and began playing hockey when her dad was deployed to Afghanistan with the US Army in 2009. Hockey gave her something to focus on and share with her dad. She has always wanted to play goalie but it was not an expense we could endure. She has grown into an amazing hockey player but still had dreams of defending the goal. This season she was given an opportunity to play back-up goalie with the “B” team. Although our rink has loaner gear it did not fit her well and we told her we could not afford to buy her new goalie gear. I remembered that Defending the Blue Line offers used gear to military kids and we sent in a request. We felt that even if she received just a few pieces she would benefit.”

“We received the shipment this week and words cannot express our gratitude to your organization! I was shocked to see brand new gear! She immediately put on all of the gear – I honestly thought she was going to sleep in it that night :) .”

“She played her first game in her “Super Gear” and had a shutout! Defending the Blue Line is doing amazing things.”

“Julianne is a proud Army daughter and is always understanding of the sacrifices we have to make so that her dad can continue to serve. Defending the Blueline has given her opportunities that we cannot. You have made my daughter’s dreams come true and I will be forever grateful! We will continue to pay it forward when we can.”

Warmest regards,
Sandy Alvares


Military, Youth No Comments

Free Hockey Camps for Military Kids Located Across the Nation

Free Hockey Camps for Military Kids Located Across the Nation. Get your camp application in now through Defending The Blue Line®.  Go to the camp page to choose your camp.

Hero Camp collage

Since 2009, Defending The Blue Line® has sent more than 1,000 kids to some of the best hockey camps in the nation. The 2014 camp schedule is up and more will be added as they come in so check back often. These camps will be located all over the nation and are available free or discounted to military children whose parents are from any of the military branches. Who’s Eligible?

Defending The Blue Line® would like to thank all of the hockey schools that have provided camps slots over the last few years.

The following hockey schools still have available slots for military kids in 2014.

Robby Glantz Hockey School, based out of Sherman Oaks, California, has over 175 Power Skating Programs across North America. Every year since 2011, they have provided one free slot for military kids to every available camp across the nation.

Carroll Goalie School is providing slots to hockey camps in various Minnesota locations. These goalie camps cover proper stance, glove positioning, goalie-specific skating, lateral movements, save techniques and establishing good work habits. CGS has provided camp slots to DTBL military kids since 2011.

Cathy’s Power Hour runs her camps at Shark’s Ice in San Jose, California. These customized power skating classes incorporate techniques to enhance the overall skill level for each player. CPH offers favorable coach-to-student ratios to provide individual attention. Cathy Andrade has provided slots to DTBL military kids since 2012.

Little Rookies is  the Dallas Stars Foundation camp program. The  program, designed by former NHL player Mike Modano, provides camps to children ages 4-8 to a FREE 4 – week program at ice rinks across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Pro Ambitions has provided discounted camp slots to Defending The Blue Line® military kids since 2012. This hockey school was founded by former NHL player Jeff Serowik. Training the future of hockey is their business. They specialize in youth boys and girls hockey camps targeting players from six to eighteen years of age.

Sniper Hockey Training is offering ALL military families involved with  Defending The Blue Line® programs, a free training session. They work with players of all ages including moms and dads. The facility is located in Maple Plain, Minnesota. They have offered this opportunity to DTBL since 2012.

visit the DTBL camp page often to watch for new camp slots. For more information on hockey schools through Defending The Blue Line® contact: kcPfluger@defendingtheblueline.org

Camps No Comments

Defending The Blue Line® Staff Email Addresses Have Been Changed To .org

All Defending The Blue Line® staff email addresses have been changed to .org addresses. We are no longer using the .com extension. Email addresses remain the same except for the change to .org.

DTBL recently experienced issues with it’s email hosting. We now have a new host and new .org addresses. If you have not received a reply to an email you have sent recently or if your emails bounced back to you, please forward them to Lynette@DefendingTheBlueLine.org and they will be sent to the appropriate DTBL department with the .org email address. We are sorry for the inconvenience his has caused.


DTBL No Comments

Dallas Stars Auction Off Jerseys From Military Appreciation Night

Dallas Stars Auction Off Jerseys From Military Appreciation Night.

Dallas Stars Military Appreciation Night was held on March 28th, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  The warm up jerseys from the game are being auctioned off now with a portion of the proceeds going to Defending The Blue Line®.  Get your bid in now on an awesome Stars camo jersey. The auction ends on April 4th..

Dallas Stars Jersey Auction

Thank you to Alex Goligoski and the Dallas Stars for sending 400+ Defending The Blue Line® troops to the military appreciation night. Photos from the game are coming in from the soldiers and their families. You can see more photos at DefendingTheBlueLine.org/DallasStars.  Dallas Stars Defenseman Alex Goligoski is providing four lower level tickets per game for military families during the 2013/2014 season. Read more about Alex’s Army and his support of Defending The Blue Line®.

March 28, 2014 Defending The Blue Line, Alex Goligoski, and the Dallas Stars

Defending The Blue Line®  had many visitors to the booth at the Dallas Stars Military Night game but the little guy above is why we do what we do.


Auction, Events, Military, Teams No Comments

Columbus Blue Jackets Host Street Clinic for Military Kids

Columbus Blue Jackets Host Street Clinic for Military Kids

The Columbus Blue Jackets conducted a Street Hockey Clinic in Columbus, Ohio. The event was held on February 28, 2014 in a hanger on Rickenbacker Air Base. The Columbus Blue Jackets provided all the equipment to make this happen. Thank you to the Blue Jackets and everyone involved in making this event happen. More photos can be seen here.

Blue Jackets Clinic in Columbus, Ohio

Defending The Blue Line ® has events happening all over the nation.  Check out the current ones on the website.  Organizations, schools, universities, businesses, NHL teams, NHL players, and individuals are helping DTBL raise money to help the military kids play hockey. We have even had many children in the nation step forward with equipment drives, donations from birthdays, donations from bar mitzvah’s, bake sales, and even lemonade stands.  Defending The Blue Line ® is very honored to have all of this support from everyone. Thank you for helping DTBL support military children.

For more information on equipment and other benefits through Defending The Blue Line® go to DefendingTheBlueLine.org.


Camps, Teams No Comments