The Columbus Blue Jackets have been named one of the top companies in central Ohio when it comes to corporate citizenship, according to Columbus Business First magazine.
The Blue Jackets were rated first among large companies (100 to 249 employees) and ninth among all Columbus businesses when it comes to cash contributions to central Ohio charitable organizations in 2018.
In 2018, the Blue Jackets gave $1.1 million in contributions through the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation as well as more than $459,000 in in-kind contributions to central Ohio organizations though the franchise's community relations operations. In addition, the Blue Jackets' 220 central Ohio employees volunteered 6,000 hours of their time in 2018.
"This recognition belongs to our staff, players, fans and partners who give so generously to support our efforts in the community," said Andee Boiman, Columbus Blue Jackets Director of Fan Development and Community Programs. "The Blue Jackets are proud to be among so many local companies that encourage employee volunteerism and share our philanthropic spirit."
It was the third season in a row in which the Blue Jackets Foundation's annual community reinvestment topped $1 million. Those grants pushed the Foundation's cumulative support of youth health and wellness initiatives in central Ohio to $10.4 million since its inception in 2000.
One community highlight from 2018 was expansion of Blue Jackets Power Play Challenge (PPC) hockey-themed wellness curriculum. After piloting PPC in 20 Columbus City Schools and reaching 4,000 students (grades 2-5) in 2017-18, 81 new suburban schools reaching more than 30,000 students were added in 2018-19.
The PPC is a free resource that encompasses fitness and nutrition challenges, student incentives, street hockey instruction, equipment donation, and opportunity for a STEM-focused field trip. The program invests approximately $350,000 in donated equipment, supplies and field trips.
In addition, at a recent meeting of Military Veterans Educational Foundation (MILVETS) of Columbus, the Blue Jackets were chosen to receive the organization's Heritage Award.
The Heritage Award is given to a person or organization in our community who demonstrates strong and continued support for our military and veterans.
The Blue Jackets have a number of programs that support and recognize the military community, including an annual military night and the pregame and in-game salute to a military member or veteran at each home game.
To learn more about the Blue Jackets community programs, please visit www.bluejackets.com/community.