There might not be snow on the ground in Los Angeles. Or anywhere near STAPLES Center for that matter.
But the Holiday Spirit is alive and well in the area…and with the LA Kings organization on the whole.
Said Kings/AEG Sports COO Kelly Cheeseman: "The spirit of the holidays are a time for us to amplify our year round focus on giving back to the community. The community makes the Kings the championship family organization that we are. We don't exist without our fans so it's critical for us to give back and help those that can't afford to attend our games or buy our products. When we say "We Are All Kings" we mean it. We are a family and we need to be here for each other."
The Kings have always been committed to the community – this is our 48th season and the franchise has made countless impressions on those who need a little help. Those efforts, however, certainly intensify this time of the year.
At “this time of the year,” one of the great company visuals is LA Kings Holiday Ice presented by Coca-Cola at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE. Now an annual downtown tradition at L.A. LIVE, Kings fans and the general public get the unique opportunity to lace up skates in a picturesque, outdoor setting.
But LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE is a lot more than just a visual. Now in its sixth year, the rink is used for many great community-based initiatives for AEG’s Season of Giving, the company’s annual initiative designed to raise funds and generate awareness for non-profit organizations that serve youth and families residing in low income households in Los Angeles County, with the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation being honored tomorrow night. Founded by MC Lyte, the legendary lyricist and iconic hip-hop pioneer, Hip Hop Sisters Foundation is a non-profit that promotes positive images of women of ethnic diversity, bringing leaders from the world of Hip Hop, the entertainment industry, and the corporate world.
On the Kings front, meanwhile, some of our holiday-themed items have been very well received by our fans. Among the Kings Care Foundation-produced highlights in 2014 are:
- Holiday Ornaments (available for purchase now for $25) at the Kings Care booth on the main concourse level at STAPLES Center as part of Kings games.
- Holiday Jerseys (up for mobile auction via lakings.com/auctions now) benefit the foundation.
- Tickets for Tip A King 2015, which takes place on January 3.
The Kings are also involved in outdoor ice beyond downtown as they host hockey clinics for kids at Ice at Santa Monica. A Beginner Hockey Clinics with the LA KINGS takes place on Sunday mornings on December 28 and January 4. Kings Alumni will serve as instructors (Link).
It is also a lot about how Kings fans can get involved and give back, including donating a toy as you enter STAPLES Center on both December 18 and 20 (every fan who donates will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Martin Jones signed hat and a Jarret Stoll game-used stick. So far the Kings have collected more than 900 toys which benefit Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and After-School All-Stars.
The TEAM LA store at STAPLES Center is encouraging fans to purchase specially discounted players and Bailey dolls for $10 (down from $19.99) during the store’s re-opening on December 16. Also, while at the event, the Kings Care Foundation is planning to have a booth where fans can drop off the specially discounted toy and they will provide them with a raffle ticket. One donor will be selected to win a prize at the end of the event.
Kings fans can also purchase raffle tickets now for just $2 to win the ultimate holiday gift for any Kings Fan – a Stanley Cup Champion Player Ring, a signed jersey, tickets to an LA Kings Home Game and more. Luc Robitaille will call and notify the winner on Christmas Day. The last day to enter is December 23 (visit lakings.com/ringraffle to purchase today).
“Give back” is a constant here and now. The players will visit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles next month. AEG, the parent club of the LA Kings hockey club, are shutting down the offices this Friday…but it is not to get a head-start on holiday vacation plans.
AEG Service Day 2014 takes place as front office executives and staff members on the whole head to South Park Elementary School. It is a powerful day of service to make a high-needs school a more engaging, educational and colorful place for children to learn and play.
Service projects include painting murals, moderate gardening and other beautification projects. That takes place later this week and will come on the heels of an AEG team participating in Homewalk -- a cause focused on ending homelessness in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile the calendar had not even yet turned to December and the Kings Family was already active in the community.
Throughout the course of the year, Kings staff members as a group leave the office and give back to our community. Called an I.C.E. Event – Impacting the Community and the Environment – the staff has formally been doing these community service days and representing the Kings Care Foundation for about five years.
In late November, while the team was skating in Nashville for practice some 2,000 miles away, several Kings staffers worked at the LA Regional Food Bank, just miles from STAPLES Center, after gathering close to 1,000 pounds of food over three Kings games.
“This event is always one we look forward to helping out at each year,” said Courtney Ports, who participated in the event and works in the club’s Ticket Sales and Service department. “It's great to see all the meal packages that are put together go out to the community to help all those in need.”
Footage from that event aired during a Kings telecast on FOX Sports West and FOX Sports West will dedicate an entire (30-minute) episode of Kings Weekly to the club’s off-ice efforts. The holiday-themed community show debuts on December 25 at 10:30 pm and will re-air that entire week.
“I took a look at all of the content we gather and noticed that a lot of it centered around the great work the organization does with local charities and other organizations,” said Jack Wilson, Senior Producer for Kings Weekly and FSW.
“It was especially appropriate this year, since the Kings spent so much of their time with the Stanley Cup using it to raise money or awareness for great causes.”
Great causes at a great time of the year for the 2014 Stanley Cup Champions and AEG. It is a great story to tell indeed as part of the Spirit of the Season.
Said Araceli Martinez, Food Drive Coordinator: “Partners like you are critical to successfully fulfilling our mission and we appreciate your generosity. Thank you for helping us fight hunger in our community!"
Said Camp Ronald McDonald Food Good Times Executive Director Sarah Orth: "Thank you so much – the Holiday party was fabulous and the toys were a needed addition to the others we had donated. They went right from our Van to Santa!"