Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings kick-started a fundraiser for victims of the Christmas Day fire at the Francis Drake Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

The wide receiver and tight end collected $25,000 from players, and the team owners, the Wilf family, agreed to match that for a total of $50,000.

At the final home game of the season Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the team played a video encouraging fans to help out. “We are all Minnesotans and we hope you’ll join us in supporting these families in their time of need,” Rudolph said.

They’re sending the money to the fund specifically for displaced residents at the Minneapolis Foundation. The four-alarm fire gutted the Drake and displaced all of its more than 250 residents, who included people renting rooms and employees who maintained the building.

The Drake was largely an overflow shelter for families.

To donate to the fund, go to or text DRAKEFIRE to 243725.

Rochelle Olson