Nashville, Tenn. (March 2, 2020) - Today, to kick off Ford Military Salute Week, the Nashville Predators announced their partnership with Middle Tennessee State University and the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. Through this partnership, the Predators and the Daniels Center at MTSU will come together to support the local population of military-connected students who struggle financially to reach their higher education and career goals.
At a press conference held at Bridgestone Arena today, Predators President and CEO Sean Henry - joined by Daniels Center founders Charlie and Hazel Daniels, MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee and Predators forward Nick Bonino - announced the establishment of The General's Fund, which will in part use funds generated by the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena. This fund will be managed by retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, MTSU's Senior Advisor for Veterans and Leadership Initiatives, and Dr. Hilary Miller, the Director of the Daniels Center at MTSU. Under Huber and Miller's administration, the assistance provided by The General's Fund will be tailored in a way that directs dollars toward the Middle Tennessee military community's most urgent educational needs.
"For years, MTSU and the Daniels Center have served as allies for our organization as we attempt to honor local military members, veterans and their families - which is why we're thrilled to expand our partnership by establishing The General's Fund," Predators EVP & Chief Revenue Officer Chris Junghans said. "This fund will serve the educational and career goals of those who served and sacrificed for our country, and we're confident that our passionate fans and partners will rally around this worthy cause to bring the campaign to life."
Predators fans, Bridgestone Arena patrons or anyone in the community who is interested in getting involved can text "PREDS4MTVets" to 41444 on your mobile phone. You can also visit the MTSU Foundation website at MTSU.edu/Give. The Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena will help raise money for The General's Fund throughout the remainder of the 2019-20 season - and will continue to support the effort moving forward.
"We deeply appreciate our partnership with the Predators," McPhee said. "Their commitment to support The General's Fund, for this and future seasons, will harness the power of this great franchise to yet again bring forth positive change in our community."
The Daniels Center at MTSU is the largest and most comprehensive veterans center on any Tennessee higher-education campus. With the mission of providing transition services for veterans and their families as they return to civilian life after military service, the Daniels Center offers over 1,100 military-connected MTSU students a one-stop shop to meet a variety of academic needs.
Daniels, who attended the press conference with his wife, Hazel, described the honor of his name upon MTSU's veteran and military family center as greater than his selection to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Daniels' support for his namesake center comes through The Journey Home Project, a not-for-profit organization that assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to help causes that benefit veterans. The project was founded in 2014 by Country Music Hall of Famer Daniels and his manager, David Corlew. For more information, please visit MTSU.edu/military.
In addition to announcing their partnership with the Daniels Center at MTSU, the Nashville Predators will host Military Appreciation Games tonight against the Edmonton Oilers and Thursday against the Dallas Stars. Ford Military Salute Week will feature military elements activated on the plaza, on the concourse and throughout the in-game presentation each night.
Prior to each game, fans can interact with every branch of the U.S. Military on the Bridgestone Arena Plaza. From viewing military vehicles or participating in fitness challenges to testing out a virtual reality experience, there will be plenty of activities for fans of all ages. Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to thank current military members and veterans for their service to our country. Bonino will host a Bones' Barracks meet and greet each night, as he has since the start of the 2018-19 season. The Military Salute, Mayor of Smashville, Fan Captain, color guard and intermission band will feature members from every branch of the United States Armed Forces. With an exciting, surprise opening ceremony and puck drop, Ford Military Salute Week will not disappoint.
Tonight, the Nashville Predators will host a pregame reception for members of all branches of the armed forces prior to the game against Edmonton. Attendees will include high-ranking officials such as Huber and Army Col. Jeffery Thompson, chief of staff of the 101st Airborne Division located at Fort Campbell, Ky. The reception will take place in the meeting rooms by the AT&T Fan Information Center on Bridgestone Arena's main concourse from 5 to 7 p.m. CT.
During pregame warmups, players will wear specialized jerseys that will be auctioned off in the Foundation Area (outside of Section 106/107). Some jerseys will be available tonight and the remaining jerseys will be available at Thursday's Military Appreciation Night. Proceeds will benefit a variety of Military-focused organizations in the Middle Tennessee area. To bid, text "PREDS" to 76278. The Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub will also have Military Mystery Pucks for purchase in the Foundation Area (Section 106/107). For a $30 donation, fans can select a wrapped, themed puck autographed by a Predators player.
Throughout the year, the Nashville Predators also offer a variety of military-specific ticket and support programs. All men and women that serve in our armed services or as first responders can receive $20 off a Lower Bowl ticket or $10 off an Upper Bowl ticket by showing their military ID when purchasing single-game tickets for a Predators home game. Additionally, the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub and Sudden Service have teamed up to benefit Folds of Honor, which provides scholarships to children and spouses of fallen and disabled service members. Sudden Service will donate $100 to Folds of Honor for every regular-season goal scored at home!