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Florida Panthers Foundation Enjoys Successful March

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Shirts Off Our Backs Auction Raises $38,000

SUNRISE, FL – The Florida Panthers Foundation sponsored a numbered of charitable events and donations over the last 45 days including the “Shirts Off Our Backs Auction” on Sunday, April 1 and the new Mystery Puck Night on Saturday, March 17. Additionally, the Foundation partnered with the Salvation Army to ring kettles to raise needed funds for Salvation Army summer camps.

The popular “Shirts Off Our Backs Auction” raised $38,000 for local children’s charities during the Cats final home game of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 1. Fans had the opportunity to participate in the silent auction to bid on game worn jerseys from their favorite Panthers players during the first two periods of play. Then the auction winners were escorted on to the ice after the conclusion of the game where each player took the jersey off his back, autographed it and presented it to the winning fan. Goalie Ed Belfour’s jersey auctioned for $5,000, while Captain Olli Jokinen’s went for $2,900.

Additionally, the Foundation sold “Lucky Eggs” with the chance to win the grand prize – Craig Anderson’s game worn jersey. Each egg was filled with spring candy and several winners received tickets to various concerts at the BankAtlantic Center.

That same night, the Florida Panthers Foundation partnered with Publix Super Markets to bring 175 children to the final regular season game on April 1. Children from charity groups such as JAFCO, Children’s Home Society, 4 Children’s Sake and the Weston YMCA participated.

“As a Foundation, it is important for us to be creative in developing new fundraising opportunities and we are proud of the success that we achieved with our ‘Mystery Puck Night’,” said Executive Director Alaina Miller. “We will continue to introduce new fundraising ideas, while further solidifying present initiatives such as ‘Shirts Off Our Backs,’ in an effort to raise more money for children’s charities here in South Florida.”

The Foundation is already planning to debut the ‘Lucky Ducky’ initiative to coincide with the first Cats Cookout of the summer on April 26. Fans will be able to purchase a rubber duck outside of Pantherland for the chance to win various prizes.”

Other Florida Panthers Foundation initiatives in March included:

- Working with the Slayton Foundation to host children at a Panthers game and to meet players after the game.
- The Florida Panthers Foundation continues to work with such players as Olli Jokinen, Mike Van Ryn, Chris Gratton and Ed Belfour in implementing their charity programs.
- The Florida Panthers Foundation supported various charities in March by sponsoring the following events and making donations to the following organizations:
Ranch Roam to benefit the Boys & Girls Club
- The BIG Event at the Miami Beach Convention Center to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Abandoned Pet Rescue

Over the past year the Florida Panthers Foundation has donated Florida Panthers game tickets and auction items including team-signed jerseys and sticks and Zamboni rides to various South Florida charities. Recipients include: Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Broward County, American Cancer Society, JAFCO, Homestead Air Reserve, Soref JCC, Boys & Girls Club, Miami Disadvantaged Youth, Dept. of Naval Science, American Jewish Community, City of Plantation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, H.O.P.E., Camelot Community Center, Stellar Kids, the Andy Roddick Foundation and Rock and Wrap It Up!.

For more information about any of the player charities or the Panthers Foundation please contact Alaina Miller at (954) 835-7730 or

The Florida Panthers Foundation’s mission is to assist non-profit organizations which focus on healthcare, education and cultural needs of children and families through corporate partnerships, philanthropic grants and unique resources. Through teamwork, interaction and dedication, the Florida Panthers Foundation works to bring together a wealth of talent, on and off the ice, to build a better future for the people of South Florida.
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