Gary Shopek...

Talk about the current Gopher Hockey team....

Gary Shopek...

Postby Jupiter » Wed 3/12/14 4:31 pm

Former Gopher Gary Shopek has lung cancer and it is not looking good at all. According to his CaringBridge page he has opted not to be treated because the cancer is so advanced. Gary played for the Gophers from 1983-87. He actually came out to a GPL game watching party at Campus Pizza a few years ago which was very nice of him to do. We're thinking of you Gary.


His CaringBridge Page...
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/garyshopek

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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Gopher Hockey Rube » Wed 3/12/14 4:40 pm

Prayers to Gary and his family.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby 5 O.T. » Wed 3/12/14 5:30 pm

Gary Shopek was one of my favorite players from the middle 80's period. He played from 1984-'87. He was a Herb Brooks type of player that played for Buetow and then Woog. What I remember most about Gary was that he was a classic rink rat, junk yard dog kind of player. Not a big guy but always played big. He was a guy that had great hockey sense, was real scrappy and very effective.

Gary was the Mike Crupi Award recipient twice. :dup: In '86 and '87. For a player to win the Mike Crupi Award once, that's a great recognition. To be awarded the Mike Crupi Award twice, means that Gary was a real special player. To me, the Mike Crupi Award winner is the epitome of what it means to be a Minnesota Gopher hockey player. Job well done Gary. :club:

Gary played his high school hockey at Patrick Henry High in Minneapolis.

Check out Gary's record as a Gopher. It's impressive
http://gopherhockeyhistory.com/players/ ... p?plID=960

Mike Crupi Most Determined Player Award Winners:
http://gopherhockeyhistory.com/players/awards/crupi.asp

Good luck Gary, prayers out to you.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby sunbone » Wed 3/12/14 5:51 pm

5 O.T. wrote:Gary Shopek was one of my favorite players from the middle 80's period. He played from 1984-'87. He was a Herb Brooks type of player that played for Buetow and then Woog. What I remember most about Gary was that he was a classic rink rat, junk yard dog kind of player. Not a big guy but always played big. He was a guy that had great hockey sense, was real scrappy and very effective.

Gary was the Mike Crupi Award recipient twice. :dup: In '86 and '87. For a player to win the Mike Crupi Award once, that's a great recognition. To be awarded the Mike Crupi Award twice, means that Gary was a real special player. To me, the Mike Crupi Award winner is the epitome of what it means to be a Minnesota Gopher hockey player. Job well done Gary. :club:

Gary played his high school hockey at Patrick Henry High in Minneapolis.

Check out Gary's record as a Gopher. It's impressive
http://gopherhockeyhistory.com/players/ ... p?plID=960

Mike Crupi Most Determined Player Award Winners:
http://gopherhockeyhistory.com/players/awards/crupi.asp

Good luck Gary, prayers out to you.


Totally agree. Scrappy is the exact term that first comes to my mind when I think about Gary. He is proof that you don't need to be the biggest guy in the world to be hard to play against. At the games I swear sometimes you could see on the opposing players faces how sick they were of playing against him. :good2: My thoughts are with you and your family, Gary.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby firstpusk » Wed 3/12/14 7:00 pm

He played with heart and determination. That made him my favorite kind of Gopher. My Finnish roots tells me he had a boatload of sisu.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby hrbekroenick » Thu 3/13/14 7:25 am

Praying for you and your family Gary. Loved your grit and determination. You did the U of M and its fans proud.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby dryfly » Fri 3/14/14 8:35 pm

Thoughts and prayers as well. I remember moving back from Iowa and getting tickets again and watching him play - really a gutsy player. God speed.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Greyeagle » Fri 3/14/14 8:47 pm

Very sad.
He gave 120% in each game.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Fri 3/14/14 11:17 pm

Gary was one of my favorite players, unassuming, hard worker, good spirits, a total player. He liked to laugh a lot and was a popular player on the teams he played on.

Gary will be remembered fondly in my memories of the old barn and the trip to Nationals in 1987. (It wasn't called the Frozen Four back then.) And when he passes on, there will be a heck of a Gopher contingent up there to play some pick-up hockey with him. I am sure Les Auge will welcome him to the team in Heaven.

Praying for an easy passing.

QoGH
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby shopek25 » Sun 3/16/14 5:38 pm

Thank you all for your words and support. Its still a great day for hockey! This has all come as a shock and quite fast, but I am so grateful to have all of you!
Gary
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Greyeagle » Sun 3/16/14 5:39 pm

And it's no surprise you're still a class act!!
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Sun 3/16/14 5:40 pm

shopek25 wrote:Thank you all for your words and support. Its still a great day for hockey! This has all come as a shock and quite fast, but I am so grateful to have all of you!
Gary


Hey Gary,

We are all here for you and are keeping you in our thoughts.

Look around, lots of info here.

QoGH
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby sunbone » Sun 3/16/14 5:57 pm

shopek25 wrote:Thank you all for your words and support. Its still a great day for hockey! This has all come as a shock and quite fast, but I am so grateful to have all of you!
Gary


You have a lot of people keeping you in their thoughts and prayers, 25. :good2:
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby gsmicke » Sun 3/16/14 8:18 pm

Stay strong and keep fighting Gary! You're in my prayers...
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Toe Blake » Sun 3/16/14 8:39 pm

I concur with everyone's recollection of Gary's play. Definitely one of the players I think of when I think of the old barn. I can't believe how many times he came out of the corners with the puck after going in against much bigger players. You could see the frustration of those bigger players. He was as fun to watch as any Gopher.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Mon 3/17/14 9:48 pm

Gary had a very bad day today, please keep those prayers coming.

QoGH
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Jupiter » Tue 3/18/14 1:55 pm

The U is putting on a benefit for Gary next Saturday (3/29) at St. Bridget's
3820 Emerson Ave. North
4-7pm
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby george » Tue 3/18/14 2:42 pm

Jupiter wrote:The U is putting on a benefit for Gary next Saturday (3/29) at St. Bridget's
3820 Emerson Ave. North
4-7pm


That is unfortunate timing as it directly conflicts with the West Regional of the NCAAs.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Tue 3/18/14 3:07 pm

Jupiter wrote:The U is putting on a benefit for Gary next Saturday (3/29) at St. Bridget's
3820 Emerson Ave. North
4-7pm


Actually it was set up by Mike Fink a friend of Gary's. The U has nothing to do with it as far as I know.

I know it conflicts with the Regionals, but when you are fighting for your life nothing else matters.

Please keep praying for Gary.

Thank you

QoGH
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby 5 O.T. » Tue 3/18/14 3:27 pm

QueenofGopherHockey wrote:
Jupiter wrote:The U is putting on a benefit for Gary next Saturday (3/29) at St. Bridget's
3820 Emerson Ave. North
4-7pm


Actually it was set up by Mike Fink a friend of Gary's. The U has nothing to do with it as far as I know.

I know it conflicts with the Regionals, but when you are fighting for your life nothing else matters.

Please keep praying for Gary.

Thank you

QoGH

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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Jupiter » Tue 3/18/14 3:29 pm

I see.

I just saw the tweet from the U hockey twitter that had the M logo on it and assumed they were behind it. They must be just trying to help out.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby sunbone » Tue 3/18/14 4:14 pm

Is there a way to donate to the benefit fund at TCF bank online? I don't see anything on their site.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby shopek25 » Tue 3/18/14 4:36 pm

From Mikes event page on Facebook, he has listed " If you are unable to attend contributions can be made directly to TCF BANK in the name of "Gary Shopek Benefit Fund"
I am pretty sure you will need to call TCF directly.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby sunbone » Tue 3/18/14 6:47 pm

shopek25 wrote:From Mikes event page on Facebook, he has listed " If you are unable to attend contributions can be made directly to TCF BANK in the name of "Gary Shopek Benefit Fund"
I am pretty sure you will need to call TCF directly.


Okay, I think all of us that are able to contribute can figure out how to get this done.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Mon 3/24/14 4:20 pm

WCCO will have a short piece on the Benefit this evening during their 6pm newscast.

Tune in if you can.

Thank you!

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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Tue 3/25/14 6:22 pm

Gary has made the Strib!!!

http://www.startribune.com/sports/gophe ... 31581.html

and Gary's Caring Bridge website:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/garyshopek

Gary will be at the Benefit on Saturday and is quite bummed that the Gophers play in the early game Saturday. I'll have my DVR set. I don't suppose there is any chance that a Church gym would have cable TV....

Keep those good thoughts and prayers coming guys!

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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby MafiaMan » Mon 3/31/14 5:02 pm

Sioux fans are praying for you as well, Gary. God bless you.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Mon 4/07/14 12:21 pm

Gary Shopek was admitted to the hospital last night with two blood clots in his abdomen.

Please keep praying for him.

Thank you.

QoGH
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby brianmichaud » Mon 4/07/14 2:40 pm

My name is Brian Michaud. My dad is Gary Shopek's best friend, and I am turning to the loyal and dedicated Gopher hockey family for possibly some assistance.

A long time ago (almost 30 years ago) my dad had recorded every one of Gary's hockey games on tape. Years later, as a gift, he gave all of those tapes to Gary and they have since been lost to time.

I have been through several different channels trying to find some archival footage but even the guys in the film room at the U had very limited footage.

My intent was to ask the forum members if they have any of these games recorded that I may be able to buy from them. Ultimately the goal is to have them put into a digital format to make a remembrance video for my dad, but also in the mean time to have him watch them with Gary and remember the good old days of Gopher hockey.

I know that the options are going to be severely limited but I figured I may be able to ask the community, and they have some stuff stocked away that might be of use.

Either way, not a big deal just wanted to channel check and see if there is anything out there.

I appreciate any help that may be forthcoming. Gopher fans are the best in the world!

Thanks again for your time.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Mon 4/07/14 4:10 pm

Hi Brian,

I gave Gary's sister Laurie two VHS tapes of the two games we played in Detroit in 1987 National Championships. I am not sure what condition they were in, but Laurie has them now. I will check with her and see if she has tried to watch them. I wish I had more. If I do find any more, I will PM you.

I will also put the word out to my friends who are not on GPL or Twitter to see if anyone has anything else.

I think I walked past several nametags that had "Michaud" on it at the Benefit, but had no idea who you were. Have you called the Sports Info Office and or the Hockey Office? Mark Bahr may be of some help as well. If you need contact info, please PM me. You can get Laurie's email on the Caring Bridge site.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Thanks for doing this.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby brianmichaud » Tue 4/08/14 9:56 am

QueenofGopherHockey wrote:Hi Brian,

I gave Gary's sister Laurie two VHS tapes of the two games we played in Detroit in 1987 National Championships. I am not sure what condition they were in, but Laurie has them now. I will check with her and see if she has tried to watch them. I wish I had more. If I do find any more, I will PM you.

I will also put the word out to my friends who are not on GPL or Twitter to see if anyone has anything else.

I think I walked past several nametags that had "Michaud" on it at the Benefit, but had no idea who you were. Have you called the Sports Info Office and or the Hockey Office? Mark Bahr may be of some help as well. If you need contact info, please PM me. You can get Laurie's email on the Caring Bridge site.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Thanks for doing this.
QoGH
(aka: Carol)


Hey QoGH (or Carol),

We were all definitely there from beginning to end. Gary was a part of our lives and even though he had some struggles along the way was always just an incredible person at his core. My family and I have been in contact with Laurie, and she has been very helpful. Thank you very much for your support. It will certainly mean a lot to everyone that is involved. I will certainly keep you posted as I peel back the layers.

Thanks again for your help Gopher community. As Gary would say, "It's a great day for hockey!"
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby 5 O.T. » Wed 4/09/14 8:51 pm

Image

Thinking about you #25. What a player. :good2:
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby MafiaMan » Sat 4/12/14 2:04 pm

Gary, if you're reading this, I hope you're able to watch this game tonight and have a smile on your face. God bless you, #25.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Fri 4/18/14 7:19 pm

Just an update for all you loyal Gopher Fans.

Gary is still with us, now in a lovely Hospice facility, where he has a window overlooking a lake.

Please pray that Gary passes gently to the big rink in the sky.

God Bless.

QoGH
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Bertogliat » Fri 4/18/14 7:25 pm

Prayers are with you Gary!
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Gopher Hockey Rube » Fri 4/18/14 8:08 pm

Thoughts and prayers to Gary and his family.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby gopheritall » Fri 4/18/14 8:34 pm

Stick salute to you Gary.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby boosh » Sat 4/19/14 11:37 pm

My prayers are with you my friend. As someone from Minneapolis I am proud to have had you represent Minneapolis Public School Hockey being from Henry High! You are a hero to many including myself!
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby frozen4champs » Sun 4/20/14 8:41 pm

Per Tom Chorske's twitter acct, Gary Shopek has passed away. RIP Gary.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby cypressmills » Sun 4/20/14 8:57 pm

RIP Gary.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby The Rube » Sun 4/20/14 8:59 pm

*sticksalute*
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Greyeagle » Sun 4/20/14 9:02 pm

Tweet from: @Pat Micheletti
Saddened to hear a former gopher great has passed away. Gary shopek was the epitome of @GopherHockey . He pushed me to be better than I was.


Not sure a higher compliment can be payed to a player.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby MafiaMan » Sun 4/20/14 9:08 pm

Been watching for updates...sorry to read of this news today, Easter Sunday.

Rest in peace, Gary. God bless.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Golden FE Ranger » Sun 4/20/14 9:09 pm

Rest in peace, Gary.
President GWB said, "And it seems like Minnesota is pretty good at hockey, too."

"I think in the best interest of his career, he definitely would benefit from playing one more year of college," Gretzky said.


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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Armadillo » Sun 4/20/14 9:14 pm

Terribly sad. RIP.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby gopherguy13 » Sun 4/20/14 9:46 pm

Stick tap to Gary's family. Bummer.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Kelor » Sun 4/20/14 9:57 pm

Reading that Gary was a true Christian makes this Easter day a wonderful fitting day for him to pass away. I'm sure that brings his family comfort.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Sun 4/20/14 10:14 pm

Gary was a true Rink Rat in every sense of the word. He was a great Gopher player.

Godspeed Gary, you will be missed by many.

It is a sad day for us, although he skates up there on God's Hockey Team now.

RIP my friend.

Carol, QoGH
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Gopher Hockey Rube » Sun 4/20/14 10:41 pm

RIP Gary.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Chris83 » Sun 4/20/14 10:59 pm

Very sad news. Condolences to his friends and family. Another addition to the Gopher God Squad. RIP.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby gator » Mon 4/21/14 10:44 am

Kelor wrote:Reading that Gary was a true Christian makes this Easter day a wonderful fitting day for him to pass away. I'm sure that brings his family comfort.

If your a person of faith, when a family member, friend or fellow beleiver passes it does bring comfort. You still have the tears and sorrows, but knowing their fate brings that extra comfort.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby 5 O.T. » Mon 4/21/14 11:12 am

RIP Gary.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Gopherocious » Mon 4/21/14 1:45 pm

So sad to hear. RIP, Gary. I'm sure you will be missed by many, but you are in a much better place!
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby sunbone » Mon 4/21/14 3:05 pm

Sorry to hear the news. Thoughts are with his family and friends.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby Cowgirl » Tue 4/22/14 12:39 am

Thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby theskillz » Tue 4/22/14 12:36 pm

RIP Gary. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby 5 O.T. » Sat 4/26/14 9:57 am

Memorial Mass for Gary, #25, is today April 26 at 11:00 at the Church of St. Bridget.

http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/d ... ips-shopek
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby streakygopher » Sat 4/26/14 11:04 am

Anybody know why they called him, "Slips"?
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby sunbone » Sat 4/26/14 11:22 am

streakygopher wrote:Anybody know why they called him, "Slips"?


http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/256215321.html

According to this blog by Reusse it was because he was so slippery on the ice.
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby streakygopher » Sat 4/26/14 11:53 am

sunbone wrote:
streakygopher wrote:Anybody know why they called him, "Slips"?


http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/256215321.html

According to this blog by Reusse it was because he was so slippery on the ice.

Nice article and a great story. :good2:
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby 5 O.T. » Tue 5/06/14 12:55 pm

Nice column on Gary by John Gilbert.

http://newcarpicks.com/site/gary-shopek ... on/sports/

From the column:
"Shopek was special enough that the people who conducted a fund-raiser in his behalf are using the money to seed a scholarship fund, in his name, which would go to help a young Gopher prospect who makes the Gopher varsity as a walk-on. I know Gary would be proud of that, and if you concentrate hard enough, you can see it in the twinkle in his eyes, and that sly little grin that always signified that he got the message."

RIP
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Re: Gary Shopek...

Postby QueenofGopherHockey » Wed 5/07/14 10:40 pm

The Gary Shopek Scholarship Fund should be announced very soon. Posted on FB is a pic of the $10,000. check given to the Univ for the new scholarship.

Awesome legacy for Gary.

QoGH
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