ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - For one Forest Lake girl, Sunday’s Wild game was one she’ll never forget.
That’s because the 12-year-old received a surprise visit from one of the teams’ star players after he helped raise money for one of her upcoming tournaments.
Kalei Forga is an up-and-coming hockey player herself and was selected to play in Europe this spring.
Her family was having trouble coming up with the funds and that’s when Matt Dumba donated. Tonight, he wanted to meet her.
It’s not every day that you get invited to the owner of the Minnesota Wild’s suite and it’s even rarer to have one of the star players waiting for you with a jersey inside.
Dumba signed his jersey and gave Forga a pep talk about her upcoming trip overseas to Europe, where her first stop will be Geneva, Switzerland.
Dumba first heard about Forga after her fundraising page was shared on social media. Her family was seeking funds to send her abroad for an elite hockey tournament to which she was invited.
Dumba contributed and now Forga will be able to attend the once in a lifetime tournament.
“It’s special that I get to do this with the whole family and go play,” Forga said Sunday.
“Just hearing Kalei talk right now, you can see the passion she has for the game, the love for her family,” Dumba said. “She’s caring. You don’t find that in just every day.”
Not only is Forga a talented hockey player, but she’s also paving the way for other young girls and children of color to take an interest in the game.
The growing diversity of hockey worldwide is something Dumba says is one of the reasons he was inspired to meet the 12-year-old.
“Having someone like Kalei is just awesome,” he said. “It’s empowering and it’s where the sport needs to be trending. I love it.”
Forga’s trip begins in April. She has never been out of the country before and can’t wait to experience new countries and different cultures.