Beyond the long days spent between the practice rink and the training room, the back-to-back airplane flights from city to city and the ever-changing scores of the games, the Colorado Avalanche spent its season saving up for a greater cause.
In an effort to support the American Heart Association, the Avalanche and DCP Midstream teamed up this year to raise money for a program they coined Avs Save Lives.
“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Colorado Avalanche to shine a light on the important work of the American Heart Association, an organization that is contributing to healthier communities and workplaces,” said Roz Elliot, the vice president of corporate communications for DCP Midstream.
After 40 games on home ice and prior to the season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 11, DCP Midstream emptied their pockets, figuratively speaking, combining every save in net made by goalies Semyon Varlamov, Reto Berra and Calvin Pickard into a charitable opportunity.
Each shot stopped by the Avalanche prompted a $450 donation from DCP Midstream to the American Heart Association (AHA). Nancy Brown, CEO of the AHA, and her organization were aware of the Avs Save Lives program, but were not informed of the value of each save or the total amount of the donation.
The Avs’ saves up until that point equaled 1,190. With each save worth $450 apiece, the donation total added up to $535,500. But there was another surprise in store for the AHA.
Elliot had secretly planned to double the dollar amount of the original check.
Brown and members of the AHA were presented a check by Elliot and the Avalanche, represented by Varlamov and Berra, prior to the game. During the small ceremony, the Avalanche’s in-arena host, Conor McGahey, erased the $535,500 on display and rewrote the new total to read an astonishing $1,071,000.
Thanks to the combined efforts of the Avalanche goalies and the highly generous DCP Midstream, the AHA walked away with a hefty donation.
“The Avs Saves Lives program was an innovative idea to bring awareness to heart disease prevention and healthier choices,” said Elliot, “and it has literally saved lives.”