As the Nashville Predators Foundation continues to gear up for another rewarding summer and upcoming hockey season, one of its own has been recognized for her life-changing efforts.
Predators Senior Director of Community Relations Rebecca King, who also serves as the executive director of the Foundation, is among those nominated for the Nashville’s Emerging Leader Awards, which recognize professionals younger than 40 who have made significant accomplishments in their chosen field and contributions to the community. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville decided on five nominees in each of 15 different categories.
King, who has been with the organization for 11 seasons, has helped to oversee tremendous growth throughout the Foundation. Included in that span is a record distribution of $450,772.87 through 113 grants made last month to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations.
“I think our fans love our product, they love our players, they love our team and being a part of the organization,” King said. “Our fans donate financially, purchase auction items, buy tickets to events, and they feel invested in the process. Not only are they supporting the team, but they’re also supporting their own community.”
The summertime means visiting those grant recipients to see how the grants are being put to use, and forming relationships that last well after the initial handshake and presentation.
“We do a lot of due diligence binding the organizations, and then we don’t just hand them a check, we visit them in the summer, we work with them at the holidays, we invite the kids to come out and skate, so it’s more building a relationship and fostering it versus just handing them money and being done with it,” King said. “We do great due diligence and we maintain these relationships, build friendships with these organizations and try to figure out what else we can do.”
The Foundation raises money through events like their fourth annual Craft Beer Festival, presented by Orca Coolers, which takes places this Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. There’s also Petey’s Preds Party, GnashVegas and the Wine Festival and Tasting, just some of the events held throughout the year to benefit the Foundation’s cause to assist youth and families throughout Middle Tennessee.
Including the more than $450,000 in grant money distributed last month, Jack Diller Scholarships, the 365 Pediatric Cancer Research Fund presented by Dollar General, KABOOM playground involvement, and the Legacy Project at the Nashville Inner City Ministries, the Nashville Predators Foundation donated more than $1 million in cash to Nashville and Middle Tennessee community service and charitable organizations during the 2015-16 season. Established in 1998, the Foundation also serves the community through in-kind donations, player ticket programs, assisting in fundraising efforts and more.