According to Columbus Business First magazine, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been named one of the top companies in central Ohio for corporate citizenship as the National Hockey League club was rated first among large companies when it comes to community investment to central Ohio charitable organizations in 2019, it was announced today.
"As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, we are thrilled and honored to be recognized for the work that our players, fans, partners and staff do in the community and we thank Columbus Business First for this honor," said Andee Boiman, the club's Director of Fan Development & Community Programs. "Philanthropy was incredibly important to our founder, John H. McConnell, and the McConnell family. We take great pride in the work we do to live up to the standard they've set and look forward to continuing to do everything we can to lift up our community in our next 20 years."
Since 2000, over $11 million in grants has been awarded by the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation to local organizations that support youth health and wellness. The club has invested over $1 million in a hockey-themed wellness curriculum for several Central Ohio school districts that include donated equipment, supplies and field trips and reaches over 78,000 area children annually through Hockey in the Classroom and sticks in hand initiatives. Last year, players, coaches, staff, alumni and Lady Jackets contributed over 6,000 volunteer hours. In addition, the team partnered with the USO for a USO Support Item drive that collected over 45,000 items to help supply lounges across central and southern Ohio for three months.
Club staff and players equally engaged in a number of community activities as volunteerism is strongly encouraged in the form of playground builds, our Adopt A School pen pal program, Salvation Army initiatives, and numerous reading appearances. Also, the CBJ Foundation encourages employees to support causes important to them by participating in a matching gift program where an employee's personal contribution to a registered 501c3 of their choice may be matched by the team's foundation. To learn more, visit www.bluejackets.com/communityreport.
Columbus Business First launched its Corporate Citizenship survey in 2018 to recognize the community impact and financial support of the region's companies and their employees. The Corporate Citizenship Awards celebrate companies that "are doing good works to make Central Ohio a better place." Based on survey results, the top 10 companies in the Extra Large and Large categories and the top five companies in the Medium and Small categories are named honorees. This marked the second consecutive year the Blue Jackets have rated first among large companies and the third-straight in which it has been an honoree.