The Checkers are proud to announce that they contributed $356,570 to nearly 300 different local organizations through cash and in-kind donations during the 2016-17 season. They have now totaled $4 million in community contributions since Michael Kahn took ownership of the team in 2006.
In addition to popular annual events such as Pink in the Rink presented by Novant Health ($27,000) and the team’s annual charity golf tournament ($20,000), the Checkers also donated $20,000 through a new Pass it Forward program with Verizon Wireless. For that program, Checkers staff members and players distributed gift cards at random during several unannounced visits throughout Charlotte.
Checkers staff members also joined the effort, raising $45,000 through individual fundraisers and donating 500 volunteer hours in the community. Checkers players (200 hours), their wives and girlfriends (80 hours), the team’s mascot, Chubby (150 appearances), and the CheckMates (40 appearances) also volunteered at several events and locations throughout Charlotte.
The team also continued several successful educational efforts, reaching 40 different schools through assemblies, the Science of Hockey Program presented by Piedmont Natural Gas, the POWERPlay program presented by Novant Health and the Pick up a Book and Read program.
Other events held throughout the season that resulted in community contributions included the annual Salute to Heroes Game benefiting local public safety workers, Postgame Skates presented by Novant Health, the Tip-a-Checker event at Pizza Peel in Plaza Midwood, the annual Hockey and Heels event for women and Corporate Cup game between American Airlines and Wells Fargo employees that benefited Alexander Youth Network.
Since joining prior to the 2010-11 season, the Checkers have won the American Hockey League’s Excellence in Community service award three times (2011, 2014, 2015).