In keeping with its mission to support the development of youth and amateur hockey, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced during tonight’s game that the McConnell Education Foundation awarded grants to 32 Columbus-area high school hockey programs as part of the Blue Jackets “High School Hockey Night.”
The McConnell Education Foundation has offered philanthropic support for high school hockey in greater Columbus for the past 15 years with the cumulative donation approaching $900,000. Grants will support clubs from the Capital Hockey Conference and the Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League.
Receiving a grant for the first time was New Albany Hockey, which this year began the first junior varsity program in its community history. The Eagles plan to convert to an OHSAA-sanctioned varsity in the next one to two years.
The Athens Bobcats club also received a grant as the Athens community supports a longstanding youth hockey program.
This year’s recipients also included high school varsity and junior varsity teams in the Capital Hockey Conference representing Bishop Watterson, Dublin Coffman, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Gahanna Lincoln, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty, Olentangy Orange, St. Charles Preparatory School, St. Francis DeSales, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington, Worthington Kilbourne and the Columbus Ice Hockey Club (representing Columbus City Schools and Columbus Recreation and Parks Department).
Additional varsity and JV programs in the Greater Columbus High School Club Hockey League receiving grants include Northeast Storm (representing Bexley and Johnstown); Hilliard Southwest; Westerville Warcats; Prowler Hockey (representing Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, Pataskala, Canal Winchester), and the Newark Generals.
As part of “High School Hockey Night,” high school varsity captains representing the recipients took the red line for the U.S. and Canadian Anthems with the Blue Jackets and Jets. Also tonight, Dublin Coffman High School won use of the FOX Sports Ohio Blue Jackets Fan Express bus for one of its upcoming games by selling the most tickets as part of an incentive contest among the schools.