Many Minnesota legends convene for Bolder Options Tailgate in Rochester

(ABC 6 News) — Any time a number of Minnesota athletes come to town, it’s always a fun time, and Saturday afternoon at Mayo Field was the case for a good cause.

Families convened for the Bolder Options Sporttacular – an event to help raise money through auctions and autographs – featuring a multitude of Minnesota sports standouts.

“There’s some guys here, obviously Vikings players that I grew up watching and I was a fan of,” Mayo HS alum and former Minnesota Twin Mike Restovich said. “So, for me, it’s exciting as any kid that’s here to talk to them.”

Rochester native and former Minnesota Golden Gopher Darrell Thompson leads Bolder Options – which is a youth mentorship program. He says he created the program as a means of providing what every child needs – someone to look up to.

“The main thing for young people is to have a positive adult role model involved in their life,” Thompson said. “If you can have an adult positive role model involved in your life, you’re going to be less likely to get involved in a life of crime. You’re going to do better in class.”

“The community has been so good to me, anything I can do to give back to kids or whatever, I’m all for it,” John Marshall alum and former Minnesota Viking Marcus Sherels said. “And Darrell does such a good job, he was my mentor in college.”

Officials say providing a memorable time for families and kids is the goal. At the Sportstacular, attendees met former athletes like Sherels, Restovich, Thompson, and even pro football hall-of-famer Randall McDaniel.

“We couldn’t do what we do if it wasn’t for the fans coming out, supporting us. So, it’s always good to give back,” McDaniel said. “Signing autographs for the kids and the families out here is always a fun thing to do. And then just to hang out and watch everything goes on afterward.”

As Bolder Options continues to expand its reach, Thompson says he hopes to make the Rochester branch permanent and have a building the organization can own to continue giving back to kids.

He says the city will always be home.

“A permanent home just like we have a permanent home in the Twin Cities. We want to have a permanent place here in Rochester as well, the families deserve it, the kids deserve it, and our staff deserves it. If you see someone that you feel like would be a good mentor, say, ‘You know what? You should consider being a mentor for Bolder Options.’ There’s a lot of different ways for people to get involved, we’d appreciate any one of them.”

For more on Bolder Options, click here.