Matt and Bridget Cullen reflect on ten years of "Cully's Kids Celebrity Weekend"
Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A milestone weekend celebration is ahead for the Cullen Children's Foundation.
The dream of NHL stand-out Matt Cullen and his wife, Bridget has raised millions of dollars in a short time, and benefited countless families and non-profits in our area.
While the foundation will continue, the Cullen’s are stepping out of the limelight, and this will be the last of the big "Cully's Kids Celebrity Weekend."
The three Cullen boys are at "that" age. Non-stop energy, turning a backyard into a kid's summertime dream.
For their parents, it is a bitter sweet, adrenaline filled week. Planning and checking off the list as Matt and Bridget Cullen prepare for tomorrow's start of Cully's Kids Weekend.
Bridget Cullen/Cullen Children’s Foundation: “Especially this year, it is kind of a whole mix of emotions. We are getting excited but we are kind of sad it is coming to an end.
Matt Cullen/Cullen’s Children’s Foundation: “As we get closer to the event and we are reflecting and the thing that sticks out is the kids, we have been lucky to get to meet them and get to know them,
But what a run it has been for this action packed weekend, the last 10-years. In a decade, 4 and a half million dollars raised for families and children's charities in our region. And one look at the pictures, or the video, and it is hard to tell who is the kid.
Matt: “I have been lucky to play a game where I am allowed to stay a kid longer than most people and I haven't grown up yet.”
And who is helping whom. Matt, this father of three, treats Cully's Kids as if they were his own.
Matt: “They mean a lot to us. We are not going anywhere, this is home. We will hopefully be a part of these kids' lives for a long time. We see these kids at the hospital and some of the things they go through, as a parent now I cannot imagine seeing my own going through that.”
Bridget: “We know the kids and we do feel like they are our own. We are not here all the time but when we come back it is like a family reunion.”
With three boys, and the NHL evening shift on the ice, Matt and Bridget are stepping back from Cully's Kids Weekend, allowing the foundation to continue on helping area families.
Bridget: “We are so blessed and we have never had a sick child and I don't know how I could do it and get through it and these parents manage to do it and these parents are so strong. I don't know how they do it.”
And there is no question, these kids; their parents have touched the Cullen’s in unforgettable ways.
Matt: “These kids are inspirational, you walk away feeling inspired and you see parents putting their lives on hold. They are amazing.”
And the Cullen’s say throughout all of this, their three young boys have already learned lessons about giving and compassion. That and what their parents have learned from this experience, priceless.
The Cully's Kids weekend includes a golf tournament tomorrow at Oxbow.
A picnic Saturday at Newman Outdoor Field and a live and silent auction Saturday night at Usher's in Moorhead.