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Lady Jackets focused on community in midst of pandemic

Group has donated $18,500 to local organizations over past few months

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

In trying times, everyone in the community must be on the same side. 

For the Lady Jackets, that has meant making an impact during what has a trying time amid the coronavirus pandemic. Their recent donation of money raised from the initiatives throughout the NHL season, including the sale of holiday cards painted by Blue Jackets players as well as the annual holiday auction, to four central Ohio nonprofits will help those organizations in a time of need.  

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Haferman has introduced thousands to hockey in Columbus

Columbus Ice Hockey Club co-founder is up for national award for his work building the sport

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Throughout John Haferman's life, the easiest way to get him to try to do something has been to tell him he can't.  

He brought that attitude to the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department when he was hired full-time in 1989 with the goal of introducing sporting opportunities to any kid who walked through the doors.  

Someone told him he couldn't get inner-city kids to golf, so he started there. In winter, he'd fill up a bus with youngsters and drive an hour to get them on the ski slopes.  

But for someone who grew up in Canada and played club hockey at Central Michigan University, perhaps the most obvious thing in the world was to get kids on the ice.  

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Blue Jackets Foundation scholarship recipients make point to give back

Dublin Coffman's Evan Mitchell, Gahanna Lincoln's Darin Fields honored

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Each year, the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation awards two scholarships -- the John H. McConnell Scholarship and the High School Hockey Scholarship -- to graduating seniors from the central Ohio area. 

Ask this year's recipients, Evan Mitchell of Dublin Coffman and Darin Fields of Gahanna Lincoln, why it was so important to them to give back to their communities throughout their high school years and both have a similar answer. 

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CBJ present Boone Jenner with 2019-20 Community MVP Award

by Blue Jackets Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

2019-20 Community MVP

Boone Jenner is the 2019-20 Community MVP

Nick Foligno congratulates Boone Jenner as the 2019-20 CBJ Community MVP

  • 02:37 •

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that forward Boone Jenner has been named the recipient of the club's 2019-20 Community MVP Award, which recognizes the player who best exemplifies service, dedication and leadership. The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation will donate $5,000 to the charity or charities of Jenner's choice in his name. He has elected to donate $3,000 back to the Blue Jackets Foundation, while donating $1,000 to the Janis Foligno Foundation and $1,000 to the Force Network Fund.

Jenner, along with teammate Seth Jones, teamed up throughout the 2019-20 season to provide a unique game night experience to Nationwide Children's Hospital families, offering a distraction from the challenging circumstances confronting them. The families received game tickets, food & beverage vouchers and specially designed CBJ hats, as well as the opportunity to meet both players after the game.

In addition, Jenner supported the partnership between the Blue Jackets and Nationwide Children's Hospital as the spokesman for the club's bike helmet safety program, which provides thousands of kids with bike helmets in fittings. He also donates his time to numerous Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation initiatives including visiting with patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital during the holidays.

Jenner has also given back to his community in his hometown of Dorchester, Ontario by hosting free hockey camps for boys and girls ages 10-11 during the summer.

The team has recognized a player for outstanding community service since the 2002-03 season. Past winners are: 2002-03 - Tyler Wright; 2003-04 - Luke Richardson; 2005-06 - Manny Malhotra; 2006-07 - Jody Shelley; 2007-08 - Dan Fritsche; 2008-09 - Rick Nash; 2009-10 - R.J. Umberger; 2010-11 - Jared Boll; 2011-12 - Marc Methot; 2012-13 - Derek MacKenzie; 2013-14 - Derek MacKenzie; 2014-15 - Nick Foligno; 2015-16 - David Clarkson; 2016-17 - Nick Foligno; 2017-18 - Sergei Bobrovsky; 2018-19 - Nick Foligno.

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Ohio educators honored by CBJ as part of Teacher Appreciation Week

Virtual visits from Stinger bring smiles to students' faces

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

The Masked Stinger, coming to TVs this summer? 

Probably not. 

One of Kevin Schodorf's second graders at Gahanna's Lincoln Elementary asked last week via Zoom if the Blue Jackets mascot could make it on the popular television show, with Stinger quickly demurring. 

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Blue Jackets organization stepping up in community during pandemic

Dubois, Bjorkstrand donate Papa John's pizza to Kroger workers in latest example

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

There was no pizza song blaring over the loudspeaker at central Ohio Kroger stores on Tuesday, but there were a lot of happy people who like pizza come lunch and dinner time. 

Thanks to a donation from Blue Jackets players Pierre-Luc Dubois and Oliver Bjorkstrand, workers at 29 of those Kroger locations received a free meal of Papa John's pizzas Tuesday afternoon. 

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Power Play Challenge helps local kids stay active

PNC-sponsored program brings hockey into central Ohio schools

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Brian Geniusz admits at first he was a bit skeptical. 

When the science and wellness curriculum leader at Worthington Schools was first approached to have his students take part in the Blue Jackets Power Play Challenge presented by PNC, he didn't immediately jump on board. 

"When I first got the email, I was hesitant," Geniusz said. "The more we uncovered and got to what exactly the Power Play Challenge was, the more surprised we were with the details and how positive it was going to be of an experience for our teachers and students." 

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CBJ public address announcer using his skills to raise money

Greg Murray reaching out to fans with Cameo videos to help Blue Jackets Foundation

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Sports certainly aren't the most important thing in life, but it's also fair to say something is missing in life without them at the moment.  

Sure, it's just entertainment, but for many, it's an escape, a chance to feel like a part of a community and a reason to come together in times both good and bad. 

And when the NHL went on pause because of the coronavirus in mid-March, that in-person bond was severed quickly, but many members of the Blue Jackets community are doing their best to keep it going.  

On that list is Nationwide Arena public address announcer Greg Murray, the voice who introduces Leo Welsh before each national anthem, who lets you know the Jackets are on the power play and who reveals the three stars after each CBJ win.  

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U.S. Olympians help Blue Jackets grow girls hockey

Annual clinic provided instruction to 60 girls during Hockey Is For Everyone month

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Olympians, CBJ team up to teach

U.S. Olympians, CBJ team up to teach girls the sport

Olympians Lisa Chesson and Kelli Stack help teach at the Blue Jackets' annual girls hockey clinic

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Hands across the room repeatedly shot into the air, with many of the nearly 60 girls in attendance at the Blue Jackets annual girls hockey clinic wanting to ask questions of two women who were once like them before becoming the best in the world. 

How did they get into the sport of hockey? What were the biggest highlights of their careers? How many goals had they scored, and who were their favorite Blue Jackets? 

Former U.S. Olympians Kelli Stack and Lisa Chesson answered each question over a 30-minute span last month, then put on their gear and headed to the ice, using their expertise to help teach the sport to the girls aged 6 to 14 years old in attendance. 

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Science of Hockey gives kids a chance for hands-on learning

Blue Jackets welcome more than 1,000 third through sixth graders as part of new program

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Science of Hockey Day

Students celebrate Science of Hockey Day.

Local students learn about STEM subjects at Science of Hockey Day, presented by AEP.

  • 02:04 •

The first third grader to get a chance to take a shot on the OhioHealth Ice Haus ice on Wednesday under the direction of a Blue Jackets staffer put the puck straight into the net, then broke into a big smile and put her arms in the air. 

That's exactly the kind of reaction you could see all over the arena and its attached rink on the Science of Hockey Day, presented by AEP. Over the course of two such days this winter, the Blue Jackets welcomed more than 1,000 third through sixth graders downtown to show them a hands-on experience about how the science of hockey works -- and to have a little fun as well.  

There was a lot to learn, and the kids did much of it with a stick in their hands, as the youngsters took shots into NHL nets, completed passes with Blue Jackets staffers and took faceoffs against one another. They also had the chance to check out authentic hockey gear like Elvis Merzlikins' goalie pads and a close-up look at how the Zamboni resurfaces the ice.  

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