A grinning C.J. Eick walked around the Independence unit of the Kansas City Boys & Girls Club earlier this week asking his Kansas City Mavericks teammates to sign a white picture frame mat.

“The easy way out,” he quipped, as the Mavericks were visiting the Independence club to decorate picture frames to be used as centerpieces for the tables at the Nov. 19 11th annual Dinner on Ice at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Last year’s event raised $180,000 for the Kansas City Boys & Girls Club.

“An event like this opens the eyes of our young people, who might read about the Mavericks in your paper or see them on television and they think, ‘I just sat at a table with their players,’” Kansas City Boys & Girls Club CEO/president Dred Scott said.

“The Mavericks have been a wonderful partner with the Boys & Girls Club since their inception 11 years ago. The Dinner on Ice means so much to us and all our kids, and we are so thankful that the Mavericks continue to support our cause.”

It was difficult to tell who was having more fun at the event, the kids or the players.

“This is my fifth time coming over here,” said captain Rocco Carzo, who exchanged playful banter with his table full of kids, “and it’s an event I really look forward to.”

Ditto for Eick, who said he’s honored to attend an event like this one.

“We have so much free time,” Eick said, “we basically practice and play and have free time the rest of the day, so coming over is really special and fun. But I have to tell you, I’m a better hockey player than I am an artist.”

No one had more fun that newcomer Zach Osburn, who sports a handlebar mustache that was a real crowd favorite.

“I love his mustache,” 12-year-old Wyatt Lockhart said as he poked his head through a frame that sported a handlebar mustache drawing by Osburn.

“The mustache on my frame looks just like his. This is so cool.”

It was the first time the Mavericks defender made the trip to create art with the kids.

“This is a special event with a lot of great kids,” Osburn said. “I’m not much of an artist, but I can draw a mustache.”