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Community: Season Highlights

by Kristina Boyce / Carolina Hurricanes
The 2009-2010 season will definitely be a season to remember for every Hurricanes fan.  From having all four of our Olympic players medal in Vancouver to the announcement of the 2011 All-Star game, our season seemed to be a whirlwind of surprises.

Kristina Boyce
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One thing did not come as a surprise to everyone within the Hurricanes organization. The constant support and faith from the fans has always been something we can rely on each season.  As a newbie to the Community Relations Department this season, I was able to experience a new side of the fans and our organization. 

Below are some of the recent highlights from our department this season:

Spring Grant Recipients
During the second intermission of our last regular season game on April 8, our spring grant recipients were recognized.  Thanks to the generous support of fans, players, and management, the Kids ‘N Community Foundation was able to award $178,574 to 30 children’s charities in North Carolina this Spring.  Our Community Relations team will be visiting each of the 30 organizations this summer.  It has been wonderful to meet and get to know many of you who are dedicated to helping us provide monetary support to these organizations.  We are unable to provide these grants without you, so THANK YOU!

Hurricanes Heroes Ticket Program
During the 2009-2010 season we were able to donate 167 tickets to various charities through our Hurricanes Heroes ticket program.  This program is made possible by Carolina Hurricanes ticket holders who donate their unused tickets to the program. Each ticket donated goes to a local charity that would not normally be able to attend a game.  A couple of organizations that were able to send participants to attend a game were Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate, Methodist Home, John Avery Boys & Girls Club, Chatham Youth Center, TROSA, The Salvation Army, and more.  Thank you to each ticket holder that donated to our program this season! Check out the Hurricanes Heroes page for ways to donate next season.

Player Charity Suites
Wow, it is hard to put into words the joy that Eric Staal, Cam Ward, and Aaron Ward were able to bring to the hundreds of people that experienced one of the player charity suites this season.  The generosity of these players provided a night out to many children and military personnel that would not have normally been able to attend a game.  I was able to meet chronically-ill children, homeless children, children with disabilities, wounded warriors, warriors who had recently returned home from war and more.  With the daily battles that each person was facing, they were always smiling when I came to visit because they were given the opportunity to attend a game.  We also had five Ron Francis Family Nights throughout the season.  Francis partnered with Duke Children’s Hospital to provide a special night out for a few patients and their families.  The night includes a limo ride to the RBC Center, flowers, tickets in a suite and a meet and greet with Ron post-game. Thank you to Eric and Tanya Staal, Cam and Cody Ward, Aaron and Kelly Ward, and Ron and Mary Lou Francis for impacting hundreds of lives this season through the Player Charity Suites!

Pick Up a Book and Read
Our Pick Up a Book and Read program is a literacy program that motivates students to get excited about reading.  This season the program lasted from any six-week period starting on November 9 and ending February 12.  The students log how many pages they read each week and at the end of the six weeks the teacher logs their information for us to record.  This year a total of 50 schools had 2,190 students participate in the program.  A total of 3,204,020 pages were read! Each student that participated received a Certificate of Accomplishment.  The top three schools, based on final reading results, will have an on-site visit by the Carolina Hurricanes mascot Stormy and the community relations department in the coming months.  The top three schools this year are Lincoln Heights Elementary, Aycock Elementary and Deep River Elementary. Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this year’s program!

NHL Online Auction
Our online auction is still going full-force and continues to bring in funds for the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. Over the next couple of weeks we will be highlighting former players who are currently in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Check out the Web site and bid to win some great autographed items.  All proceeds go to the Kids ‘N Community Foundation.

What a year it has been! We will have a busy summer full of grant recipient visits, Pick Up a Book and Read assemblies, the fulfillment of donations and preparing for another exciting season.  Thank you to everyone for making the 2009-2010 season a memorable one for the Community Relations Department.  I can’t wait to experience all that is to come in the 2010-2011 season. We will see you in the Fall!

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