COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation announced today the donation of a record-high total of $800,000 to local charitable and youth hockey organizations for the 2013-14 grant cycle, far surpassing last year’s previous record-setting grant total of $525,000. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has invested over $6.2 million in central Ohio to support initiatives that fight pediatric cancer, grow and support youth hockey and keep kids healthy and safe.
This year’s signature commitment is a $40,000 grant to design, customize and furnish a princess-themed room within the new Ronald McDonald House expansion. The project was made possible by the fundraising efforts of the wives of Blue Jackets players, coaches and management during the 2013-14 season. Beyond the financial commitment, several of the Lady Jackets have been involved in the design of the space and procurement of furnishings and amenities. The room is expected to be finished and enjoyed by families visiting Ronald McDonald House this fall.
Also highlighted within the 2013-14 cycle is a $100,000 grant to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation in fulfillment of the Blue Jackets Foundation’s long-term $1.5 million commitment to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
In keeping with the Foundation’s efforts to fight pediatric cancer by healing through distraction, several organizations received grants to support their respective psychosocial programs including Flying Horse Farms (oncology and hematology camp); Make A Wish Foundation (wish trips); A Kid Again (a Blue Jackets game experience); Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids (“Catwalk2GO” program) and Flashes of Hope (photo shoots for pediatric cancer patients and their families).
Recipients that serve the health and safety of children include: After-School All-Stars (Sports as a Hook program); Columbus Recreation & Parks (playground build at Westgate Park); The Childhood League Center (tricycles for kids in physical therapy); KidSMILES (educational outreach teaching proper dental hygiene); Easter Seals of Central Ohio (camp teaching recreational and social skill learning) and Boy Scouts of America Simon Kenton Council (Skate into Scouting program).
Lastly, 25% of the annual grants are dedicated to the development of youth and amateur hockey and making the game accessible to all who want to play. Recipients include: Protect & Respect Programming (education and instruction around safe checking); YMCA (street hockey equipment and programming); Ohio Sled Hockey (sending team to NHL Sled Classic); One Goal Association (providing rental equipment); Newark Ice Hockey Association (Scores for Schools program); CCYHA Special Hockey (serving those with special needs) and Gliding Stars (teaching skating to those with special needs).
Several programs that received grants to assist players in financial need include Ohio AAA Junior Blue Jackets, Columbus Chill Youth Hockey Association, Easton Youth Hockey Association and Columbus Ice Hockey Club.
Founded in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation’s mission is to help central Ohio kids get healthy, play safely and stay active. As the charitable arm of the National Hockey League club, the Foundation leverages its unique resources – players, coaches, staff and fans – to partner with and invest in central Ohio charities. For more information on the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, visit www.BlueJacketsFoundation.org.