- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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Unlike some of his NHL brethren, Rangers center Brad Richards is sticking around New York during the lockout. He is not, however, sitting idle.
In wake of the work stoppage, the 32-year-old alternate captain fast-tracked his first charity event in the Big Apple, the Inaugural Brad Richards Foundation Wines of the World, to be held Tuesday, Oct. 2.
With no hockey on the immediate horizon, the event allows Richards to channel his energy into a cause close to his heart.
Richards lost his cousin, Jamie Reynolds, to brain cancer when Reynolds was only seven years old. In addition to losing a family member, Richards also lost a childhood friend in Reynolds. Just under two years apart in age, the two grew up across the street from each other on Prince Edward Island.
Wanting to keep Reynolds' memory alive, Richards established the Brad Richards Foundation, a charity which has assisted pediatric cancer patients and facilities in his native Prince Edward Island in Canada, as well as Tampa, Dallas and, now, New York.
"It's a great distraction," Richards said of the event, when reached by phone Wednesday afternoon. "Those kids are dealing with stuff way more important than stuff we're dealing with it. To raise money and awareness, hopefully we can get this thing going."
Richards said he wanted to "get his bearings" in New York before hosting a charity event in Manhattan -- he joked that he is still getting used to the big city even a year after moving -- and is looking forward to what he calls a "casual, fun event."
"Hopefully, there will be bigger events," he said. "This is more to kick it off and raise awareness. Then we can start building and see where it goes from there."
Located at the Hotel Chantelle in New York, the event will feature a wine tasting of wines from six different countries as well as a silent auction. Richards, a wine lover himself, said he is looking forward to his first foray into the New York philanthropic scene and hopes to make a positive impact on the kids the event will benefit.
"It always puts things into perspective, when you can see these families and the kids," Richards said. "Whether it's changing their day, or maybe even their life, it's a fun thing for us hockey players to be able to do."
For more info, visit brichards19.com.