Stanley Cup makes stealth visit to Elgin
By Janelle Walker For Sun-Times Media September 13, 2013 3:18PM
Getting their 15 seconds of fame with the Stanley Cup are Lisa Colovos, Steve Colovos, Stephanie Colovos, Scott Villalobos, baby Vincent Villalobos, Josh McCarthy and Nicole Mattoon. They wanted the baby to see the Cup once in his lifetime, Stephanie Colovos said. | Janelle Walker for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 16, 2013 6:42AM
ELGIN — Although staff at the Grand Victoria Casino knew since Labor Day that the Stanley Cup was coming to the casino Thursday night, they were not allowed to publicize the visit.
“It was all through word of mouth,” said Kristen Fischer, marketing supervisor at the casino, as an estimated 2,000 people showed up — many in Blackhawks signature red and black jerseys — at the casino that evening for a photo op with the cup.
The Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins in a six-game, nail-biting series.
The casino told the its dealers, servers and staff, as well as gaming club members, about the visit prior to Thursday’s appearance, Fischer said. There were a few leaks on Facebook Thursday, letting people know the Stanley Cup would be at Grand Victoria from 7 to 9 p.m.
The word of mouth seemed to work. By 6:30 p.m. about 500 people waited in the River Room or on the second-floor balcony overlooking the pavilion. By 7:30 p.m., that line stretched across the walkway bridge to the parking deck.
Grand Victoria was a Blackhawks sponsor for the 2012-13 season, which is why the Cup made a visit here, Fischer said.
Although the Blackhawks also won the Cup in 2010, for many fans they figured this might be their only chance to see the trophy, “named for Lord Stanley of Preston, then-Governor General of Canada, who awarded it to Canada’s top-ranking amateur ice hockey club,” according to its Wikipedia entry.
Megan Scianna of Elgin said she heard about the stop on Thursday morning, and came straight to the casino after work to wait in line.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Scianna, a Blackhawks fan. “But I would love to see them keep winning it every year.” She did not get to see if after the 2010 win, she said.
Sharon Muzzard of Hoffman Estates said she found out about the visit through the players club at Grand Victoria. “I love the Hawks, and my son is a huge Hawks fan,” she added.
Stephanie Colovos said the family wanted her 15-month-old nephew Vincent Villalobos to see the trophy, too. Although he is too young to remember the visit, the family plans on regaling the youngster with stories of the visit so he will never forget, Colovos said.