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Blue Jackets Foundation celebrates spring with annual CannonBall

The year's biggest fundraiser for the foundation combined fun, philanthropy Thursday night

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Like any good party, CannonBall had the right theme, with Thursday's annual fundraiser for the Blue Jackets Foundation celebrating seasonal rebirth with its Swing into Spring theme. 

And while CannonBall, presented by Bartha, wasn't a birthday party, there also was a gift that served as the highlight of the shindig. On a night that raised more than $300,000 for the foundation's efforts to support the health and wellness of children in Central Ohio, the foundation announced a $250,000 donation to the City of Whitehall to fund a community street hockey rink. 

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CBJ, Jet's Pizza celebrate First Responders Night with Columbus police

Pizza party, meeting with Zach Werenski honored the work done by Substation 5

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

If this whole hockey thing didn't work out, Zach Werenski probably would have gone into the family business. 

Of course, the Blue Jackets star is one of the top defensemen in the NHL, so at the end of the day hockey turned out to be the right choice. But had his pro sports dreams not come true, Werenski says law enforcement might have been the road he chose given the fact his father is a police officer, among other ties. 

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Blue Jackets again step up to the plate to support high school hockey

Local high school players were recognized at a game last week, while grants will help central Ohio teams

by Grace Weidenhamer @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets organization has made great efforts when it comes to supporting the central Ohio community, and near the top of the list is the support given to high school hockey teams. 

On Dec. 9, players from 37 different teams from throughout the area gathered for the Jackets' game against the Anaheim Ducks to represent their schools for the organization's annual celebration of high school hockey. 

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Grants from CBJ Foundation do a lot for Central Ohio community

Such organizations as Nationwide Children's Hospital, South Side Early Learning and the Boys and Girls Club among those that benefit

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Each year, the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation provides grants that support its four pillar areas of focus, including pediatric cancer causes, reading, fitness through play and the growth and development of amateur hockey. 

The foundation announced the investment of $334,000 to local charitable and youth hockey organizations last Monday at Nationwide Arena in conjunction with the game against Dallas. This year's grants push the Foundation's cumulative support of youth health and wellness initiatives in Central Ohio to $11.9 million since its inception in 2000. 

During a pregame reception, the Blue Jackets Foundation announced grants awarded to 25 Ohio-based nonprofit organizations, including three new partners. In addition, for the first time, the Foundation is supporting children's mental health. 

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Learn to Play makes it easier than ever for kids to learn hockey

Three-step program, free equipment provides a streamlined path for Columbus youth to hit the ice

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Having spent much of his post-NHL career working to introduce the next generation to the sport of hockey, Andrew Cassels knows what it's like to see a kid step on the ice for the first time and discover a love for the game. 

The former Blue Jackets forward has been a big part of the organization's grassroots efforts to spread hockey to youth in the community, and he's been on the ice to see hundreds if not thousands of kids fall for the sport.

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Blue Jackets break down barriers with Greater Columbus Sports Commission

Street clinics introduce children to hockey at inaugural Community Youth Camp

by Joe Renza @CBJGivesBack / BlueJackets.com

The Greater Columbus Sports Commission has long been positively impacting the image, economy and lifestyle of the capital city. From the 2015 NHL All-Star Game to the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four and numerous USA Olympic sports and amateur sporting events in between, the Sports Commission has booked more than 500 new sports events and generated an estimated $605 million in visitor spending for Columbus.

But it was an internal audit in 2017 that spurred a new vision to create programs that would engage the Columbus community -- and its youth -- through meaningful touchpoints centered around sport.

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Blue Jackets scholarship winners showed leadership, character

Three local high school seniors honored by the Blue Jackets Foundation

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

As it happens each spring, this year the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation rewarded select local high school students with scholarships that will help them achieve their dreams. 

But this year, there was a new component. The Paul Donskov Legacy Scholarship was awarded for the first time, joining the John H. McConnell Scholarship and the High School Hockey Scholarship in going to a deserving student. 

Gahanna Lincoln senior Thomas Giles won the inaugural Donskov scholarship, while Grove City Christian's Molly Murage claimed the McConnell award and St. Charles hockey player Sam Carey captured the High School Hockey honor. 

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Frontline Hero salute: Hannah John-Conry

Athens native honored during Saturday night's game for her work at OhioHealth

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

In games throughout the 2021 season, the Blue Jackets and OhioHealth honored Frontline Heroes for the work they've done during these most challenging of times.

Athens, Ohio, native Hannah John-Conry has spent the last 10 years working for OhioHealth. In her role, John-Conry provides guidance and support to O'Bleness Hospital in Athens and as a team lead for the system infection prevention program, which she has done for nine years. 

For her work during the pandemic, John-Conry was presented with a blue home CBJ helmet adorned with the OhioHealth logo and signed by alternate captain Seth Jones during Saturday night's season finale. John-Conry also took the time to fill out this questionnaire on her job responsibilities as well as her work during the pandemic.

Video: Frontline Hero: Hannah John-Conry

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Nationwide Children's, CBJ partner to host families battling rare disease

A pair of families from Sweden has bonded over hockey and the challenges their sons face

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Given their choice, Christian Lundin and Andreas Hellqvist wouldn't have any need to come to Columbus. 

The two fathers and natives of Sweden, near Gothenburg on the country's southwest coast, have forged a bond over a difficult situation. Lundin's son August, age 11, and Hellqvist's son Linus, age 8, both have Batten disease, a group of rare inherited neurological conditions that can cause vision loss, progressive motor and cognitive decline, and seizures. 

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Atkinson a deserving choice for Community MVP

Longtime CBJ winger has given back in plenty of ways throughout his career and this past year

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

When it comes down to it, there is no better deserving Blue Jackets player to be named the team's Community MVP this season than Cam Atkinson. 

From his creation of the Force Network Fund that has donated more than $300,000 to support military and first responders to his integral part in the creation of the Battery Hockey Academy to help central Ohio kids become all they can in the sport of hockey, Atkinson has been a longtime supporter of the Columbus community that he's chosen to call home.

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