PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHLin association with The Salvation Army on Thursday announced a program to raise funds and awareness for those affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, including those in the ECHL markets of Biloxi, Mississippi and Beaumont, Texas. Based in Biloxi, which was hit directly by Katrina, the Mississippi Sea Wolves are unable to compete in 2005-06, but have already reopened the team office and are assuring their fans that they will return in 2006-07.
The league program is in addition to the fundraising programs being conducted by individual ECHL teams. For more information, or to donate to The Salvation Army hurricane relief efforts, please visit ECHL.com or telephone 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Custom-designed jerseys will be worn by the starting goaltender and the back-up goaltender for each ECHL team. Each jersey will have an embroidered Salvation Army patch on the left chest, produced and donated by Orion Emblems. Designed, created and produced by licensed ECHL jersey supplier SP Apparel, Inc., the jerseys have a red body with lace at neck, trimmed with navy blue and white stripes on the sleeves and on the waist, and ‘Mississippi’ written diagonally across the front.
All home openers will use limited-edition pucks that will feature the Salvation Army logo and the words “ECHL Opening Night Hurricane Relief”. Goal-scoring pucks and five game-used pucks from each period of each home opener will be collected. Produced by In Glas Co, the “Exclusive Puck Supplier of the ECHL”, the one-of-a-kind pucks will not be available for purchase anywhere else.
The limited number of custom game-worn goaltender jerseys and the limited-edition pucks from each home opener will be auctioned by The MeiGray Group which is the “Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL”. Fans will be able to access the auctions at the ECHL web site and at The MeiGray Group web site.
For the entire 2005-06 season, every ECHL helmet will have a Salvation Army decal, produced and donated by Pine Decals.
Throughout the season in league arenas and during broadcasts, ECHL fans will be able to participate by sending a text message from their cell phone. Each entry costs $2.99 and mSnap Interactive will give all proceeds from each text message to The Salvation Army. To participate, text to 68683 (mVote) the keyword GIVE.
Every ECHL arena will have dasher boards with the logos of the ECHL and The Salvation Army and the words “Hurricane Relief” displayed throughout 2005-06. The dasher boards are produced and donated by licensed dasher board supplier AMI Graphics.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army was on the scene immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit providing food and comfort to first responders and survivors of this devastating storm. The Salvation Army continues to focus on the short-term needs of hurricane survivors including shelter, food, clothing and financial aid, while working to address the long-term needs of the people and communities affected by the hurricanes. Financial contributions enable The Salvation Army to meet the unique needs of individuals and families, as well as put money back into those communities affected by the disaster by purchasing goods from local merchants. A $100 donation to The Salvation Army will feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household clean-up kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets, and cleaning supplies.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL began in 1988 with five teams in three states. The league welcomes new markets in Phoenix, Stockton (California) and Utah (Salt Lake City) and will play with 26 teams in 15 states and one Canadian province in 2005-06. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League and there have been 258 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL. The ECHL has affiliations with 21 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 16 years, there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.