The Colorado Avalanche and the National Hockey League joined together on Tuesday morning at the NHL Exchange to deliver a product donation to the Gabby Krause Foundation as part of the NHL Legacy Initiative.
The Gabby Krause Foundation's signature project, the Avalanche and the NHL donated more than 400 Bags of Fun backpacks that will be distributed to young patients at Denver-area hospitals. The Bags of Fun will be full of NHL-licensed products donated by Northwest, WinCraft, Pangea, Roxio, Swannys and Trends International.
"Thank you to the NHL Exchange, to all of [donators] for their products," Tammy Krause, Founder and Executive Director of the Gabby Krause Foundation, said at Tuesday's media event at Pepsi Center. "It is an amazing addition to our bags. Our kids love the Avalanche, they love what [Kroenke Sports] does in our community, and to have this addition to our Bags of Fun is a huge addition to all the kids that get Bags of Fun."
Tammy's 6-year-old daughter Gabby lost her 19-month battle with brain cancer in September 2004, but her legacy lives on in the foundation that bears her name. During Gabby's long hospital visits while getting treatment, she often shared toys and games in her own Bag of Fun with other young patients that were going through similar treatments.
According to the organization's website, Gabby’s wish was that every child at the hospital could have their very own Bag of Fun, and the Gabby Krause Foundation was started because of that wish. In the spirit of Gabby’s original bag of toys and fun activities that kept her going throughout chemotherapy, the Gabby Krause Foundation continued her legacy of smiles and zest for life by delivering Bags of Fun to pediatric patients undergoing cancer treatment, kidney dialysis and heart, liver and kidney transplants throughout Colorado.
"These kids are in the fight of their lives, and they are amazing," Tammy Krause said. "They are amazing. They are amazing children, and we have an amazing community around us that help us bring these Bags of Fun to these kids, and what the NHL has donated adds just another smile and another little something the kids can do while they are undergoing their treatment. I can not thank you enough."
The NHL Legacy Initiative is the league's philanthropic endeavor that supports a community organization in the host city of an NHL event.
This year, Pepsi Center hosted the annual NHL Exchange licensed products and retail trade show on July 22-23. More than 100 exhibitors showcased new NHL-branded products for U.S. and Canadian marketplaces set for 2014-15 in the house and home, gifts and novelties, toys and games, and accessories categories. As the largest collection of NHL-licensed products, the trade show helped assemble NHL licensees, retailers and sales representatives from all 30 teams to explore emerging consumer product and retail trends for the upcoming season.