Delaware North Corporation (DNC), the food and retail concessions partner of the Nashville Predators since Day One, does more than serve an array of food, beverages and retail items to fans that enter Bridgestone Arena's doors for hockey games and events.
DNC's impact reaches far beyond Nashville and the state of Tennessee; most recently their efforts have reached as far as the Dominican Republic. By training local residents to give their time during events as nonprofit volunteers in exchange for funds raised through those volunteers, DNC helped Lancaster Christian Academy (LCA) not only build a new gymnasium for their school, but give to their sister school in the Dominican Republic.
"One of the greatest achievements of this fundraising has been our ability to support a mission that Lancaster began several years ago," Bridgestone Coordinator for Lancaster Christian Academy Wendy Blair said.
"We have a sister school that Lancaster funded and supports in the Dominican Republic. Fundraising with Bridgestone has made it possible for many more students to be able to go and provide school supplies, food, clothing and other items that we take for granted, to these children who are so grateful for Lancaster's devotion to them."
As a private school, LCA relies on the fundraising efforts of its students and parents to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for sports-related costs. Partnering with Bridgestone Arena as a fundraising solution for their school has provided a means for them to allow children who previously could not afford to participate in sports, do so with no added expense.
Since LCA started fundraising with Bridgestone and DNC, they have been able to accomplish the reduction of those expenses as well as purchase new and needed items for their campus. A new electronic scoreboard for their gymnasium was installed, a remodeling of the Knight's Café lunch area and modernization of café appliances; LCA purchased classroom supplies, completed needed repairs and replaced the carpeting, just to name a small handful.
"I realize that Bridgestone Arena needs workers to keep their venue operating, but that need reaches out so much farther than they realize," Blair said. "It reaches to the children who want to play sports and the many who minister to those in need in the Dominican Republic and at home, to help improve Lancaster Christian Academy as a whole."
DNC holds training sessions for volunteers to prepare them for their time at Bridgestone Arena. The training that took place for LCA involved 45 volunteers and was held in their gymnasium, which was paid for in large part by the funds earned through previous volunteering efforts at Bridgestone Arena.
"It was a great experience to actually go to a school that the group was raising money for. We usually just get to see our volunteers here in action but don't witness what the hard work and drive is put towards," Marah Hellman, NPO Coordinator for DNC at Bridgestone said.
Mallory Johnson, one of LCA's parent volunteers, is thankful for DNC's willingness to accommodate their hectic schedules.
"Since they come to us, we are able to have more volunteers join, and as busy moms and dads we are very grateful. If we are unable to attend the training at our school, we are still able to attend one of the sessions at the arena."
During the 2015-16 season through volunteer efforts and charitable contributions, DNC gave over $525,000 in donations to various organizations.
The company also collects unused prepared food from concession areas and kitchens after games and events at the arena and provides it to Room In The Inn, a Nashville non-profit organization that provides human services programs including a shelter for the homeless.
To learn more about Delaware North Corporation and to volunteer, please contact Marah Hellmann, (615) 830-6120, MHellmann@delawarenorth.com.