Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment, presented by Koffee Kult, in which we serve up an exciting look at what's on deck for your Florida Panthers. Like our friends at Koffee Kult, this forecast serves up only the best -- so sit back, sip and enjoy our latest brew of news, notes and information!
It's time to break out your old library card - the Florida Panthers are about to hit the books.
In conjunction with Broward County Libraries, the Panthers recently announced the schedule for their second-annual Summer Reading Tour. Aimed to enhance the Libraries' Summer Learning Program, the tour is slated to begin on Thursday, June 13 at Main Library in Fort Lauderdale.
Last summer, the Panthers visited 11 total area libraries from June through August, with special guests, alumni and personalities serving as guest readers at each stop. Those readers included the likes of current and former Cats such as Aaron Ekblad, Bill Lindsay and Roberto Luongo.
Luongo opened the inaugural tour with a prehistoric page-turner called "Dino-Hockey."
Video: Broward County Summer Reading Tour: Roberto Luongo
"That's where it all begins," Luongo said of the reading tour. "That's when they first get mesmerized by the sport and learn about the game and all that kind of stuff. I remember when I was a kid, looking up at the TV or at the game. That's something that I'll always remember."
For more dates and information regarding this year's tour, fans are encouraged to visit FloridaPanthers.com/ReadingTour.
HOCKEYFEST = FUN TIME
A big thanks to everyone that came out to HockeyFest this past weekend!
For the ninth straight summer, fans descended upon the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs to test drive the latest and greatest equipment from top equipment manufacturers such as Bauer, CCM, Warrior and Sherwood through various on-ice demos and new interactive experiences.
But if you couldn't make it, no worries. The Panthers IceDen is open seven days a week to lend a hand.
For more information on lessons, ice time and equipment, fans can visit https://www.panthersiceden.com/.
SECURE YOUR EXPERIENCE
It's always more fun to take in a Panthers game with a group.
Whether you're spending the night out with your family, friends or co-workers, the more hands around you to high five after a breakaway goal or jaw-dropping save, the better. Starting at 10 tickets, you can put a group deposit down now for the upcoming and ultra-hyped 2019-20 season.
Aside from being surrounded by good company, a group outing also nets the following:
• Discounted Tickets
• Welcome Message on the Jumbotron
• Access to Exclusive Fan Experiences
• Fundraising Opportunities
• Parking Included in Each Individual Ticket
• & more!
Like most ticket offers, there's benefits to jumping on these tickets sooner rather than later as well. By placing a deposit right now, you'll land a spot on the Panthers priority list, which means that you'll be given first priority to the season's best games and most-desirable seat locations.
So gather a group together and head on over to https://www.nhl.com/panthers/tickets/groups for more information on how to get started.
CALLING ALL CHAMPIONS
If you or someone you know has a group that's helping the community, we want to hear about it.
Entering its fourth season, the Community Champions Grant program, which is presented by Moss & Associates, LLC and the Moss Foundation, is committed to donating a total of $5 million -- $3 million has already been awarded! -- to local 501(c)(3) organizations or government agencies serving South Florida.
At each home game since the program's launch, the Florida Panthers Foundation has awarded a grant for up to $25,000 to a local organization that typically falls under one of four key pillars - health and education for children, veteran's issues, youth hockey or helping the Florida panther.
For a closer look at what the program is all about, check out the stories below from past Community Champions:
- Panthers Help Bring Families Closer at Memorial West NICU
- Florida Wildlife Federation Hopes to Give Panther Safe Passage
- Panthers, HandsOn Broward Team Up to Honor Fallen Parkland Teacher
- Sweet Dream Makers, Panthers Fight for a Good Night's Sleep
If you believe you know an organization deserving of a grant, they can apply for the 2019-20 Florida Panthers Community Champions Grant Program by visiting FloridaPanthers.com/CommunityChampions.
CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK
Who would headline a summer music festival bearing your name? A few Panthers weighed in.
Video: Cats Talk Summer Concerts
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
On the latest episode of Territory Talk, Doug Plagens and Jameson Olive recap the 2019 IIHF World Championship, with a specific emphasis on medal-winning performances from Evgenii Dadonov and Juho Lammikko. Doug also sits down to chat with Panthers center Vincent Trocheck.
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- From best goal to best beard, vote for your favorite Panthers in the NHL's Fan Choice Awards.
-- The Panthers have committed to privately financing the restoration and revitalization of the historic War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale.
-- The Panthers and South Florida YMCA want you to take the "Water Watcher's Pledge" this summer.
-- The Panthers and Miami Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired are making it easier for underserved children to get glasses.
-- Avengers, a little boxing and maybe even a John Mayer concert. Find out what defenseman Josh Brown has been up to this summer in the latest edition of the "Summer Plans" series.
-- REWIND: Jayce Hawryluk finally got a taste of the NHL this season.
-- The Panthers had a few surprises in store for the participants attending the inaugural "Girls Learn to Play" program.
-- The Panthers inked Latvian forward Rodrigo Abols to a two-year, entry-level contract.