CHICAGO — Kelly Reif has been overwhelmed by the response from family, friends and the Blackhawks since the death of her husband — the team's assistant equipment manager — last month.
The support includes an upcoming fundraiser at The Ogden on the Near West Side that will donate proceeds to the Clint Reif Memorial Fund.
"I am so incredibly grateful for all the generosity, love and support that my family and I have received through this difficult time," Kelly Reif said late Monday night.
Justin Breen says the Hawks community is very tight-knit:
Clint Reif died Dec. 21 in what was ruled a suicide. The Blackhawks later that day dedicated a 4-0 win over Toronto to Reif. Both the Hawks and Washington Capitals honored Reif with "CR" decals on their helmets for the teams' Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
Event organizer Jene LaRue, a longtime Blackhawks fan who had met Clint Reif a few times but who does not know the Reif family, wanted to conduct the fundraiser to help Reif's wife and her three daughters and son.
"We just want a really good turnout and to raise as much money as possible for his family," said LaRue, a Lakeview native. "We want it to be about the fans giving back to the Blackhawks because they’ve given so much to their fans."
LaRue said she expects more than 200 people to attend. There have been 50-plus donations of items to be auctioned off, including an autographed painting from Brian Schuster and shoes from Kustom Team Kicks.
The fundraiser in Chicago won't be the only one to help Reif's family. Parents at one of Reif's daughters' dance classes have teamed with Giordano's restaurants in suburban Rosemont, Oakbrook Terrace, Willowbrook, Bloomingdale and Oswego to donate 15 percent of customers' bills from Feb. 9-11 to the Reif Memorial Fund. Customers must bring in the attached flyer (below) to qualify for the donation.
"We cannot thank everyone enough," said Kelly Reif, of Lombard.
Clint Reif was in his ninth season with the Hawks after spending one campaign with the Chicago Wolves.
The Give Back to Clint Reif Memorial Fund brunch will take place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 8 at The Ogden, 1659 W. Ogden Ave. The event is free, and brunch tickets are $18.95 per person. Donations can be made at the event or to The Clint Reif Memorial Fund, C/O JP Morgan Chase Bank, 120 E. Wesley St., Wheaton, IL 60187.
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