With the 2020 school year starting under extremely different conditions than usual, the Ducks wanted to make sure students and teachers were equipped with necessary supplies. On Sunday, Aug. 30, the organization held a Community School Supplies distribution event presented by TCL from 12-4 p.m. at Honda Center. The kits included Ducks-branded school supplies, including a backpack, dry-erase folder, notebook, TCL headphones, and Clean Snax provided by Melissa's Produce. Teachers received TCL headphones and a special Ducks gift bag, including hand sanitizer provided by UCI Health.
The event was a collaborative effort from various departments as a way of giving back to the local community during these unprecedented times. The response was overwhelming.
"It's been incredible," said Jason Cooper, Manager of Fan Development for the Ducks. "During registration, we were at capacity for the event within an hour and a half. Throughout the morning, it's been all smiles through these lines of cars. That's something that really reinforces the work we're doing here. It's something that's meaningful to us and it looks like it's meaningful to the people who are coming through."
Cooper's department spearheaded the event, which saw more than 1,500 local students and teachers receive school supplies. Also lending a helping hand were members of the team's community relations, publications and digital content, marketing, game entertainment and signature events staff. It was an all hands-on-deck event, a commitment instilled by Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli.
"Henry and Susan have made it clear from the day you walk through the doors here that we have an obligation to give back to our community," said Cooper. "It's ingrained within every player and staff member in our organization that whenever have the opportunity to give back, we do."
Even former Ducks All-Star goalie Guy Hebert got to work by passing out backpacks and teachers' bags to the cars that came through. Ducks mascot Wild Wing also made an appearance, much to the delight of guests young and old.
"The Ducks have a long-standing commitment to promoting education and access not only to hockey, but education materials for the entire greater Orange County community," said Cooper. "With the current situation we're in, we looked at how we could be helpful. Provide something of benefit to not only the students of our community, but the teachers as well. Everybody needs school supplies. It seems like teachers have to go into their pockets more and more. We wanted to provide school supplies to lessen that impact, be of service and demonstrate our continued commitment to the greater Orange County education community."