Twelve hours after the Nashville Predators took a 3-1 series lead in Round Two of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs on the ice, the Predators Foundation had a record setting morning off of it.
During a ceremony at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday morning, the Foundation distributed a record 129 grants and $503,103 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community serve and charitable organizations. Combined with Wednesday's donation, the Preds Foundation donated more than $1 million in cash to organizations across the 2016-17 season.
That's a lot of good spread throughout one of the nation's premier cities.
And while the Foundation provides the outlet to help make those donations a reality, it's those who are in the community on a daily basis, working to make a difference in the lives of those who call Nashville home, that this day is all about.
"You have 129 organizations that do work that is so much greater than anything we do," Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said. "They change lives every minute of every day, and we have an opportunity to connect them, an opportunity to leverage the passion that our fans have for our logo, and to help them."
Video: Preds Foundation gives record $503,103 to nonprofits
When fans of the Preds attend events throughout the year put on by the Foundation, such as the Brent Peterson Golf Classic or GnashVegas, they're not only enjoying an experience unlike any other in the market, they're also making a difference in their community, whether they realize it or not.
Combine those events with the generosity of a Predators fan who does something as simple as purchasing a mystery puck at a game during the season, or drops a $5 bill in a collection jar, and the end result is something so much greater than just writing a check to an organization in need.
"You read a grant and you see it on paper, but then when you're actually out in the community seeing that money put to good work, seeing how the lives of different people are being changed by that money - there's not even a word to describe it," Foundation Board Member Kristen Laviolette said. "It's so special, and that's what we're here to do. That's what's so special about being a sports team in a town like this, because we're able to give back and it comes full circle."
It remains to be seen exactly how the 129 recipients will put their grants to use, but if there's one thing for certain, it's that the bond between hockey club and community has never been stronger than it is today.
"Nashville is a special place," Henry said. "We're doing things as an organization that are different than other teams, not because of us, but because of how special this community is."
Stay tuned to NashvillePredators.com for updates throughout the summer on various grant recipients from Wednesday's ceremony.