As we prepare for an incredible Thanksgiving week of hockey, with our Florida Panthers hosting three games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, I thought it would be a perfect time to reflect on the first two months of the season in 2010.
Thus far, we all have a lot to be thankful for. On the ice, General Manager Dale Tallon has instilled a fresh, new attitude in this team, and it’s been evident on the ice through an honest work ethic and an exciting style of play. Off the ice, we were able to honor one of the men responsible for bringing NHL hockey to South Florida when we raised a No. 93 banner to the rafters of the BankAtlantic Center in tribute to Mr. William A. Torrey. Bill is truly one of the most respected men in hockey, a Hall of Famer, an invaluable adviser and representative for this organization, and I am proud to call him my friend.
As an organization, we’ve also been incredibly active in the community. Since training camp began, the Florida Panthers Foundation has announced a new focus on supporting the fight against pediatric cancer, raised $165,000 at the 4th Annual Face-Off Luncheon, donated $400,000 to the Broward Health Foundation, redesigned the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital pediatric oncology unit in Panthers themes and colors, hosted a Thanksgiving feast for underprivileged families from the Boys & Girls Club and more.
In addition, two Saturday's ago, our President & COO Michael Yormark led the Panthers Walk Team at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk in Broward County. Michael and our Walk Team were the top corporate fundraiser for the event, raising a record $120,000 to help fight blood cancers.
All told, we were as active in the community as any organization over the last two months, and we’re not done yet. The Florida Panthers Foundation Golf Tournament is just a few weeks away, our Sellout For Charity initative is well under way, and we’ve got a host of upcoming events planned with the Cooperative Feeding Program, the Broward Health Foundation and more.
Thanksgiving is always a time to reflect on what we are thankful for, and why we are lucky in life. Personally, I am proud and thankful to be part of an organization whose players, coaches, executives and staff have shown such incomparable dedication to the South Florida community.
As fans, hopefully you are proud of the example we’ve set in the community, and the change in attitude on the ice. We’ll get a chance to discuss your thoughts, and the thoughts of your peers, on Dec. 15 when Michael Yormark, Dale Tallon and myself host a Town Hall Meeting for our season ticket holders, suite holders, ADT Club holders and our most ardent supporters.
It will be a great opportunity for fans to delve deeper in to our overall philosophies about the business, our hockey team and our community involvement. Specifically on the ice, Dale, Bill Torrey, Assistant GM Mike Santos and others, have us headed toward a bright future. So I hope to see a packed room of passionate fans ready to take that journey with us. Certainly, I will be thankful when we get there. Thanks for reading and see you at the BankAtlantic Center.