ECHL teams are always giving back to their local communities. Here’s a look at some recent events from select teams.
Colorado – Eagles’ captain Trent Daavettila was invited to speak at the Severance Middle School 8th Grade Celebration on May 19 to address 8th graders as they transition into high school. Daavettila spoke at the graduation celebration about the importance of setting goals, pursuing an education and developing leadership qualities to be successful in the future. This was the fifth year that an Eagles player has spoke at the Severance Middle School 8th Grade Celebration and everyone in attendance was honored that he could make it to the event. On May 28, Eagles’ defenseman Sean Zimmerman visited Monroe Elementary School in Loveland. During his visit, Zimmerman went to multiple 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms to answer questions for students about hockey, school and life as well as do an autograph session. The students were thrilled to have a positive sports role model visit their classrooms as many of them are hoping to play sports in the future while also pursuing an education.
Fort Wayne – On May 15, the Komets held their annual End of Season Party and Charity Jersey Auction. In total, the Komets raised over $18,000 through this Auction, which will be donated to various local charities.
Greenville – On May 22, the Road Warriors attended the Washington Center Community Day. The Washington Center is a Greenville County Public School serving moderate to severe intellectual and physically disabled students ages 5-21. Community Day was a school wide project that gave students the opportunity to experience a variety of activities, from seeing fire trucks to police cars, to learning about hockey equipment. The Road Warriors brought hockey gear, puck and a stick to show the students and let them interact with it. On May 27, Rowdy attended Hillcrest Middle School’s Reading Kickoff Event. Rowdy greeted all the six and seventh graders as summer reading logs were handed out at their lunch time. Students who complete between 500-999 pages of reading between June 1–Sept. 1 will receive a Buy One, Get One voucher for the first several games of the 2015-16 Season. Also, each faculty member that participates receives two tickets.
Kalamazoo – On May 2, Slappy was present for the March of Dimes – March for Babies Charity Walk. Slappy was present to cheer on and congratulate the walkers at the finish line. Many of the walkers present were from the local community so they were already very familiar with Slappy and because of that, were excited to have Slappy present at the March for Babies walk. Slappy picnicked and danced after the walk with the participants, providing a fun, uplifting atmosphere. On May 7, Slappy attended the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Carnival. At the carnival, Slappy participated in relay games, dancing and other activities with Children from throughout the Kalamazoo area. Around 3,000 children and their families were in attendance for this carnival, which highlighted services available in the community to help erase the stigma of mental health issues.
Norfolk – Admirals mascot Salty attended The Bam Bam’s Spring Jam event held on May 23, which included the Sixth Annual Memorial Day Cookout and a celebrity basketball game where athletes, music artists, and local celebrities played a charity basketball game. Celebrities in attendance included Pusha T, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor, and Kam Chancellor among others. All the proceeds from the weekend’s events benefitted the Kam Cares Foundation founded by Hampton Roads native and Seattle Seahawks star Kam Chancellor. Kam Cares Foundation seeks to equip children from underserved communities in Hampton Roads and Seattle Areas with educational, health, and wellness tools and resources to position students for greater academic success. On May 30, Salty took part in a Hurricane Preparedness event at Home Depot put on by the Red Cross to prepare the Hampton Roads community for the upcoming hurricane season. The area is heavily impacted by hurricane season and this event helped residents know what they need to prepare for hurricanes, which evacuation routes to take in event of an emergency, and where they can seek help offered by the American Red Cross if needed.
South Carolina – On May 4, Stingrays mascot Cool Ray attended the Childrens Miracle Network Welcome Ceremony for South Carolina champion Hunter Taylor. For the Welcome Ceremony, many of Hunters close friends and family from MUSC Children’s Hospital attended to help welcome him back to Charleston. Children’s Miracle Network Champions travel all over the US to share the importance of children’s hospitals and why they need donations. Hunter was born with a congenital heart defect and has had three open-heart surgeries at the MUSC Children’s Hospital. On May 15, Cool Ray joined the Charleston County First Steps program to celebrate their End of the School Year event. South Carolina First Steps is the only statewide program devoted to increasing school readiness. The First Step program finds the most efficient use of all available resources to serve the needs of South Carolina’s young children and their families.
Utah – The Salt Lake Bee’s in conjunction with the Utah PTA held a game during the school day on May 11 and invited hundreds of area schools to attend. The Grizzlies’ mascot, Grizzbee, was also an invited guest. Grizzbee rode in on a van with the Utah Jazz Bear and Bumble. From the roof of the van, he danced and waved along with his mascot buddies and only fell once. Grizzbee worked the crowd and participated in between inning contests. Many autographs and high fives were doled out as Grizzbee worked the crowd of excited elementary schoolers. In order to show support for the groups who work with us during the season, Grizzbee attends a lot of fun runs and walks. One of his favorites is the March of Dimes walk, which was held on May 16. The MoD walk features several teams who have raised funds for the event. Taking pictures and hugging those who have done so much for the cause is very fulfilling. Seeing smiles on the faces of families who have faced huge medical difficulties is a big boost for Grizzbee.
Wichita – On May 8, the Thunder Dog participated in the Allen Elementary Walk-A-Thon. Students walked for 30 minutes to an hour or more to promote a healthy lifestyle. Thunder Dog was on hand to cheer on the walkers and help keep them excited about participating. On May 29, the local baseball team, the Wichita Wingnuts, held a birthday celebration for their mascot Spinner. As part of the celebration, local mascots, including Thunder Dog, came out to greet fans, play kickball and celebrate Spinner’s birthday.