The Ducks were named a finalist by ESPN for the Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, an award that "represents a sports club/team that demonstrates how teamwork can create a measurable impact on a community or cause."
The Ducks were nominated along with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Fire MLS team and the U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey Team. The winner will be announced Tuesday, July 17 at the fourth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards, presented by ESPN and sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a celebration of the impact made by athletes, teams and sports industry professionals who use the power of sport to make a difference throughout the world.
The sports industry-wide event takes place at L.A. LIVE's The Novo. Highlights of the evening will be showcased during a one-hour program on ESPN, July 24, at 7 p.m. ET.
"What a tremendous honor it is to be named a finalist for such a meaningful award," Ducks chief marketing officer Aaron Teats said. "Congratulations also to the Red Sox, Fire and U.S. Women's National Hockey team for their efforts in the community."
S.C.O.R.E. uses hockey to teach educational themes, reinforce the importance of positive character building and reward students for their dedication to pursuing academic excellence. Within the past year, the Ducks distributed 18,000 sets of school supplies, brought more than 16,000 students on a field trip to develop STEAM skills through a "Science of Hockey" program, helped more than 20,000 students prepare for their state fitness assessments though the Captain's Challenge and engaged 10,000 students in a literacy program that resulted in 97 percent of participating teachers reporting an increase in students' motivation to read.
"Our goal is to create programs that positively impact families across Southern California, both academically and physically," Teats said. "Being community-minded is part of our culture, following the lead of our owners, Henry and Susan Samueli."
In addition to making an impact in the community, the Ducks once again had success on the ice, qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
Multiple sports leagues and/or governing bodies -- including MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA Tour, U.S. Tennis Association, WNBA and World Wrestling Entertainment, as well as the Women's Sports Foundation -- nominated athletes, teams and corporations who are transforming lives and uplifting communities. The finalists and winners were determined by an independent selection committee.
The other nominees:
Boston Red Sox
With an engaged ownership group chaired by Tom Werner, the Red Sox Foundation have a robust strategy that finds creative solutions to ongoing challenges for children, families, veterans and communities in need. Their Home Base program has been breaking new ground, with a multi-disciplinary team of experts working together to help service members, veterans and their families heal from invisible wounds associated with service. Today, Home Base is the only private sector clinic in America with the sole focus of helping at-risk veterans and military families regain the lives they once had. To enhance educational opportunities for Boston-area students, the Red Sox Scholars program serves 288 young people, with not only college scholarships, but wrap-around services between 7th grade through senior year in college. And to engage inner city youth in baseball and softball, the Foundation funds, plans, and operates the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) and Rookie League programs for more than 700 boys and girls each summer using the sport to promote healthy choices and valuable life skills.
The Chicago Fire's P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth, Soccer) Program is helping to change the trajectory of underserved youth in Chicago through innovative and enriching sports-based programming. Recognizing two major voids within the Chicago community, P.L.A.Y.S. was created to address the lack of after-school programming and the need to improve academic performance in Chicago Public Schools. Through a soccer and social and emotional learning (SEL) based curriculum, program participants engage in five out-of-school hours per week over 10 weeks and participate in three game days. P.L.A.Y.S. has engaged more than 2,500 students since the inception of the program in 2013. Research shows a 50% drop in crime near these program spaces. Participants also have had a decrease in behavior infractions, number of disciplinary incidents, unexcused absences, suspensions, and failing grades, among positive impacts in their communities and home life.
U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey Team
The 2017-18 U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey Team ignited a powerful movement, inspiring future generations of women and girls across this nation, and empowering them to rise and speak out against inequality. In March 2017, the team announced it would boycott the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship unless the players received increased training stipends and equal benefits to the men's team. A successful resolution was reached just three days before the world championship. Players on the team put their careers, reputations and livelihoods on the line in order to fight for equitable support, and in the process, they reminded the entire nation that equality demands that women have equal standing in sports. Their tenacity flowed onto the ice as well, as the women went on to win gold against their rival Team Canada at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.