Through events, fundraisers, monetary contributions from the team’s foundation and the help of fans, the Charlotte Checkers donated $323,094 to local charities and non-profit organizations during the 2011-12 season. The Checkers have now raised $2.3 million since Michael Kahn took ownership of the team in 2006.
Beneficiaries of donations and fundraisers included, but were not limited to, Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center, Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont, Teach for America, Discovery Place, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, USO of North Carolina, Children’s Organ Transplant Association, Carolina Breast Friends, Special Olympics of North Carolina, Camp Care, United Way of Central Carolinas, families of fallen public service workers and Charlotte-area schools.
In addition to funds raised, more than 2,700 tickets were donated to local organizations, including four season tickets purchased and donated by Checkers players Mike Murphy, Bobby Sanguinetti and Brett Sutter.
For a full recap of all of the Checkers’ community initiatives in 2011-12, please click here.
The Checkers kicked things off Oct. 1 with a daily community service project, “15 Days of Giving,” which led up to Opening Night and raised more than $5,000 to go along with 400 volunteer hours. This was followed by the annual Charity Golf Classic, which raised $10,000 for Presbyterian Hemby Children's Hospital, 'Teach for America' and Discovery Place. Other events throughout the season included the inaugural Meat N’ Greet charity banquet and the Checkers with the Checkers tournament, which raised more than $5,300 for Hayden’s Hope, an extension of the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.
November included the annual Movember initiative, which put two teams of Checkers players, Team Durno and Team Terry, against each other to grow moustaches and raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. More than $5,000 was raised for the Movember Foundation.
Highlighting in-game fundraisers and events were the annual Pink in the Rink game, presented by Presbyterian Hospital, on Feb. 25, Salute to Heroes, presented by American Airlines, on March 11, and Race Night, presented by Hyundai, on Jan. 27. The three events raised a combined $81,775.
Other events included the annual Teddy Bear Toss, the Hemby Cup fundraiser and charity game, which raised $102,000 for Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital, Wheels for Forest, which provided a local teen with a brand new van thanks to fans and Hendrick Automotive Group, and Heroes for Houses, which raised more than $7,000 for a local family whose house was lost in a fire.
Throughout the 2011-12 season, Checkers players made 56 appearances to local schools and non-profit organizations, a significant increase over past years, and implemented such school programs as the Science of Hockey program and PowerPLAY, which encourages a healthy and active lifestyle. Checkers mascot Chubby was also busy in the community, making more than 150 appearances in and around Charlotte.
Checkers players also made an impact with the local youth hockey program by visiting Extreme Ice Center on a regular basis. On Dec. 14, the inaugural Checkers/Jr. Checkers Outdoor Classic was held at the WBT Holiday on Ice outdoor rink and the Charlotte Metro Hockey Association’s Squirt House Selects won, 9-6.
As with years past, the generosity of fans helps fuel the Checkers’ community programs and the team collected more than 5,500 items at drives for such organizations as Arts for Life, the USO of North Carolina, CBCC, Lions Club, Goodwill, Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital and the Piedmont Natural Gas Share the Warmth program. In all, 198 piece of art supplies, 3,200 teddy bears, 28 units of blood, 220 pairs of glasses, 594 box tops and hundreds of items of clothing and electronics were collected at Checkers games.
This Community update is brought to you by Goodrich Corporation, who is a proud sponsor of all Checkers community initiatives. Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace, defense and homeland security markets. With 2007 revenues of $6.4 billion, Goodrich is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., and employs more than 24,000 people worldwide in approximately 90 facilities across 16 countries.