Stealing from the slogan that we’ve chosen to put on our Playoff Koozies, the ‘Caniac Nation undoubtedly embodies “Hockey with Heart.” As I’ve mentioned before, the underlying meaning behind “Hockey with Heart” is ambiguous for a reason. It’s up to you to interpret and apply the slogan to whatever scenario you see fit. I’d like to share a few of my personal experiences of “Hockey with Heart.”
First of all, I am excited to announce that not only are we entering Round 2 of the Playoffs, but also the Kids ‘N Community Foundation is releasing Round 2 of our “Hockey with Heart” Koozies. We had a great response from the first round of Koozies that captured Eric Staal
’s signature celebratory fist pump. Thank you to all of you who are now wearing our heart on your drink.
I have to say, this second round of Koozies captures two of the most exciting celebratory goals of the first Round. We had a tough time deciding which goals to choose, but we eventually decided to go with goals three and four of Game 7. If you don’t remember, which I’m sure that you do, that’s the tying goal and the game-winning goal. One side of the Koozie captures a view of Jussi Jokinen and Rod Brind’Amour’s initial tying goal celebration with some disappointed New Jersey Devils players and fans faded into the background. On the other side of the Koozie, Eric Staal is jumping into the arms of Joni Pitkanen after the game winning goal. Devils’ goalie Marty Brodeur is hanging his head in the foreground staring at the puck that rebounded out of the back of the net. It’s a great image, and I’m excited for all of you to see it. This side of the Koozie also features the Foundation logo and Hockey with Heart slogan. The bottom of the Koozie has our Foundation heart logo and an inscription commemorating the Round 1 series.
SPECIAL NOTE: We’ve changed the way we are distributing the Koozies, so here’s the rundown. Starting Wednesday, May 6th, in exchange for a donation ($3 minimum per Koozie), you will receive a Koozie. Come to the Kids ‘N Community Foundation Kiosk (Section 129) or keep an eye out for the Storm Squad while you are tailgating to get your Round 2 Playoff Koozie.
Remember, that ALL proceeds are going directly to the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. Similar to Round 1 of Koozies, we will gladly accept greater denominations of donations. It’s a great way for you to get involved with our Foundation at any level. Every donation adds up, and you can look back after the Kids ‘N Community Foundation’s fall grant cycle and claim part ownership of the positive impact we have in the community. Again, the $3 minimum donation for a Koozie will begin on Wednesday, May 6th when the Round 2 Koozies make their debut. Until then, the first round Koozies will still be available at both Cool Bars this weekend.
Another example of “Hockey with Heart” is exemplified through our Beard-A-Thon Fundraiser. I just checked, and we are approaching $30,000 thanks to all of you who are participating as growers and donors. Everyone participating is not only showing their solidarity and support for the team, but also their support for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. That’s showing double heart. So, not only does our team display heart on the ice (if you need evidence, just rewind your DVR and take a peek at the last 90 seconds of Game 7. I’ll give you more examples if you need), but also Caniacs are transferring this heart to our community.
Paul Strand still leads the way in overall donations with $2,735, but thanks to all of your donations, many of the players are starting to make a little run. In just two days, total player donations increased by $730. It looks like Jussi Jokinen’s critical goals have boosted his donations. (He’s not) Jokinen moved up four spots to 10th place by increasing his donations by $46.50 (totaling $76.50). Tuomo Ruutu’s $184 jump in donations allowed him to jump past Niclas Wallin in total dollars raised. Ruutu is now at $452.50, while Niclas Wallin holds strong in 2nd place with $300 raised. Both Cam Ward and Dennis Seidenberg over doubled their donations from two days ago rounding out their weekly totals at $155 and $200, respectively. Now, I’ve just spit out a lot of numbers at you all, so I hope that you followed. Bottom line: Player donations are increasing. Overall donations are increasing. But, let’s challenge ourselves…
So, my charge to you all is to keep showing the hockey world how much heart we do have down here in North Carolina. Many teams have had to quit their Beard-A-Thon and any other playoff promotions due to being knocked out, so let’s take advantage of this opportunity while we have it. We are going to need all the heart we can get, on and off the ice, for Round 2.