It's not every night you get the chance to mingle with the Minnesota Timberwolves, take a red-carpet photo with Crunch, taste test from the best restaurants in Minneapolis, and watch Louie Anderson host a Wolves-themed Family Feud.
On Thursday night, Timberwolves fans got to do all of the above--and for a great cause!
This year marked the 20th annual Taste of the Timberwolves event held at the Target Center, and there was a great turnout for the occasion.
Wolves writer Kyle Ratke said the following of the event:
"A spectator would think he was at one of the finest banquet or event centers after first entering. Many fans had to do a double-look to make sure they were indeed on the same floor the [team plays] on."
The arena was transformed into a classy, formal venue. Flowing curtains hung at the entrance, and guests entered on a red carpet. No matter what your taste in food, there was an option for you at Taste of the Timberwolves. Well-known restaurants from the Twin Cities--including Seven Steakhouse, Bar 508, and Marin--offered small plates of signature dishes and treats, while Surly Brewing and AVIV 613 Vodka provided drinks for the evening.
Guests enjoyed mingling with the players, who were dressed to the hilt and casually conversed, signed autographs, and took photos with the fans. Andrew Wiggins drew the biggest crowd of the night. The rookie looked overwhelmed but equally excited about the special event.
Purchasing tickets to the event benefited the FastBreak Foundation, which supports Minnesota youth, and there were also several opportunities throughout the evening to donate additionally.
A silent auction offered items such as autographed jerseys and other sports memorabilia, while the live auction offered fans the chance to bid on everything from court-side seats to road game trips with the team.
Kare11's Julie Nelson served as the emcee, and she had the chance to introduce the crowd to two young people who directly benefited from the FastBreak Foundation and Timberwolves participation. One high school student shared his experience of Holiday Shopping with Ricky Rubio, and another young fan stole the show with her anecdotes about Wolves players.
Every year, the Timberwolves players engage in some sort of competition or fun part of the program, and this time was no different. A final highlight of the evening came when Minnesota native and comedian Louie Anderson took the stage to host a very special round of Family Feud.
The players split up into teams, and Kevin Martin invited Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings, who attended the gala with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, up to play as well. Jennings must have been a good luck charm, as Martin's team came away with the win.
The program concluded with another small opportunity to socialize with the team, and then the night wrapped up. All in all, the evening was a fantastic event. If you have the opportunity to attend a future Taste of the Timberwolves, I highly recommend you don't let it pass you by!