At the end of the day, it's hard to believe just how much this year's edition of The CannonBall will do for the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation.
With a total of $525,000 raised, the annual fundraiser and party that celebrates the foundation truly lived up to this year's Believe It Or Not theme.
Thanks to sponsors like Quantum Health and Bartha as well as generous donors and fans, The CannonBall will allow the foundation to keep working toward a fifth straight year of raising more than $1 million to be disbursed to the local community.
"This year's CannonBall did not disappoint!" said Katie Matney, interim executive director of the CBJ Foundation. "Attendees and players enjoyed the night together while raising more than $500,000 for the Foundation. Funds raised at this event are invested into our community to support the health and wellness of children."
The fun began from the moment attendees entered Express Live. With specially crafted cocktails for the event and a food menu that included such combinations as chocolate avocado mousse and a fried chicken waffle cone, there was plenty for attendees to enjoy. Believe it or not, a drone constantly flew above the crowd mixing drinks for attendees, and a magician and performer dressed head to toe as a mirrored disco ball made for memorable photo ops.
In addition, fans both at the event and online could bid on unique auction items from both the Blue Jackets and other local sports franchises and businesses. Each member of the Blue Jackets roster was in attendance to spend the evening with fans, as were Stinger and members of the front office and some notable franchise alumni.
A short program highlighted the work of the CBJ Foundation throughout the past year, and captain Nick Foligno, last year's Blue Jackets community MVP, took time to thank attendees for their support.
"This is always a special night for myself and my teammates and even our organization to be able to say thank you," Foligno said. "There's so many initiatives that you guys take on, that we take on, and this is the culmination of it all where we get to celebrate the good that this foundation is doing.
"What's going on here, it's truly incredible. It gives us a sense of belonging to this community. We're so proud to be Columbus Blue Jackets. I know I am and I know every one of those guys back there is. We wear it on our sleeves every time we step on the ice, and we hope you guys feel that."
The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation is dedicated to the health and wellness of children in central Ohio, dedicating time, resources and financial support to organizations making a difference in the areas of pediatric cancer, reading, fitness through play and the growth and development of amateur hockey.
The foundation has provided more than $11.4 million to the Columbus community since the team's inception in 2000.