Well, he’s at it again this year, with an even bigger goal, as the Wenatchee Wild salute our local military veterans. Every year for the past three years now, Wenatchee Wild’s senior sales and operations coordinator, Dave Rayfield has been saluting our local military veterans, just ahead of Veterans Day happening November 11th, by camping out in the elements on the balcony of the Town Toyota Center on Walla Walla Avenue. All in an effort to sell tickets to the Wild game for Saturday, November 12th…Military Appreciation Night…with three dollars from each ticket sold, going to the Wenatchee Veterans Hall, and the Thomas A. Biddle Foundation. 

For 2022, Rayfield is raising his goal. His first year he was trying to sell 500 tickets. Last year he camped out for several nights selling 750 tickets. This time around, he wants to sell 1,000 tickets at $15 a seat. 

Although Dave is member of the personnel staff behind the scenes, many Wenatchee Wild fans know Dave Rayfield from his fun antics on the ice inbetween the periods of the Wild games. Often teaming up with Wild mascot Walt (and now also Wolfie), bringing kids on the ice with them, playing games, getting the crowd going, and more. During this year’s home opener weekend at ‘The Den’, Dave took to the mic dressed up in a shiny, sparkly disco jacket, wearing a long blonde wig, encouraging those who were able to snag those new Halloween inspired cowbells to ring them loud! Hosting several games where fans threw out specialty hockey pucks for prizes, and sponsored game where contestants used a leaf blower to get hockey pucks to the net. 

So doing these special events like the Military Appreciation Campout fundraiser, isn’t something out of the ordinary for Dave Rayfield. And this particular event is something he started because it was on his heart. Knowing it takes the community to help make it successful. Sometimes getting the word out can be tough. Oh sure, he’s got geeky DJs like myself coming to visit him and getting the word out on the radio and on our socials. But while Rayfield is out on the Town Toyota Center balcony, he’s also sending out e.mails and making calls to businesses and other community organizations, asking for some support. 

Also reminding Wild fans that you’ll want to get to the Wild game on Military Appreciation Night early November 12th, because they will have a specialty Wild jersey auction that night, with players wearing Military Appreciation jerseys. In the concourse there will be cool military vehicles, memorabilia from local organizations, and more. “It’s going to be a very patriot red white and blue night while the boys will be skating out with the American flag, and other cool things to support our local veterans.” That will also include free tickets to our veterans and their families as well. 

So how many days does Dave Rayfield think he’ll be out on the balcony before he can hit his highest goal thus far of a 1,000 tickets? “Well, I feel the momentum of getting to know the town and the people and who to call. I’m hoping, not to jinx it, but hoping I can be off the balcony by Thursday afternoon. I know. It’s ambitious. A little crazy. I get a lot of that when I’m on the phone with people. All I can say is that our veterans did a lot of bad nights of sleep to serve our country, to allow people like me to do stupid stunts like this. It’s the least I can do.” 

If you would like to support the cause and enjoy a Wenatchee Wild game on November 12 for Military Appreciation Night, go to wenatcheewildstore.com and look for November 12th. And, “GO WILD!”


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