Kevin Bryson was the grand-prize winner July 1, when the Chicago Gay Hockey Association ( CGHA ) held a fundraiser at Crew Bar on the north side.
He skated away with an autographed Brent Sopel Chicago Blackhawks jersey. "It's awesome," Bryson said of the jersey.
However, Bryson said he's giving it awayto a friend who collects such items.
"It'll make his day; he'll go crazy," said Bryson, 40, who lives in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood.
The CGHA fundraiser was a benefit for Sopel's personal charity, Angels Get Their Wings.
Sopel, who won the 2010 Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks and has since been traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, rode with his wife, Kelly, on the CGHA float in the annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade June 27.
"We're honored to be associated with Kelly and Brent Sopel, and the Angels Get Their Wings charity," said CGHA team president Andrew Sobotka. "This fundraiser was just the first of many initiatives that the CGHA will be doing to help Sopel and his charity. It's the least we can do after the enormous, ground-breaking move Sopel made by volunteering to join the CGHA in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade."
Added Bryson: "It really was a historic parade this year. Between Sopel, the Stanley Cup, the [ Chicago ] Cubs also having a float and more, it really was an exciting time in Chicago history."
The CGHA has a full day of hockey scheduled for Saturday, July 17, in north suburban Northbrook. The team will host a practice/scrimmage that is open to the public, starting at 1 p.m., at the North Shore Ice Arena, 2111 Founders.
The practice is followed by a potluck BBQ at nearby Techny Park, at 3-5 p.m.
The CGHA returns to the North Shore Ice Arena at 5:30 p.m. for a game between its Chicago Blackwolves team and the Black Magic.
For more information on the CGHA, visit www.chicagogayhockey.org .