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Preds Giving Back to Nashville Community During Holiday Season

by Sarah Ryan / Nashville Predators
The impact the Predators make on the ice is something that is well documented. From the thrill of victory to the excitement of a break-away goal and everywhere in between, these actions are well known by the faithful legion of Predators fans. But what these fans might not be privy to is how much of an impact the team makes off the ice.

In the midst of a time when the team seems to be on the road even more than they are in town, the Predators still recognize the importance of reaching out to the less fortunate in the community and helping them through this financially-tough holiday season. Players regularly give of their time to help with a number of holiday programs and the Predators Foundation has worked relentlessly to provide assistance to those less fortunate.

Already this season, the Predators have been involved in a myriad of holiday initiatives, and there even more on the horizon. Kicking off the holiday season was the Predators Turkey Drop, an event that saw David Legwand and Ryan Suter deliver turkeys to a number of Middle Tennessee charity organizations. Legwand and Suter then sponsored a Thanksgiving dinner for 30 children from the Vine Hill Boys and Girls Club. The Turkey Drop was followed by a Turkey Shoot, where Annti Pihlstrom and Pekka Rinne helped children win Thanksgiving turkeys for their families through a series of hockey-themed games.

The Predators have also set up a series of drives at home games to benefit the needy. They have already partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank and Toys for Tots to collect food and toy donations and will also be teaming up with the Salvation Army to hold a kettle drive at the upcoming game on December 20 vs. the New York Islanders. Through the generosity of its fans, the Predators have been able to brighten the holidays for many Middle Tennessee children and families.

On Monday, players will be participating in a “Skate with the Preds” Coat Drive, held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at A-Game Sportsplex in Cool Springs. The drive is an effort to collect new or gently used winter wear for donation to those who cannot afford it. A number of players including Greg de Vries, David Legwand and Greg Zanon will be on hand to skate with those who contribute to the cause.

Not to be left out of the holiday philanthropy, Vern Fiddler and Scott Nichol are set to sponsor a holiday party for Youth Encouragement Services and Morning Star Sanctuary. Food will be donated by Levy restaurants and there will be visits by a magician, Santa and GNASH as well as a gift-giving ceremony.

The Predators Foundation has made a habit of taking part in numerous charitable programs and events. From hospital and school visits—where children are given the opportunity to interact with players—to programs like Hall of Trees, a holiday program that benefits charities sponsored by the Foundation, the Predators continue to give back to the community that supports them.

“Our players and organization recognize the importance of community relations and helping those less fortunate throughout the year, but especially during the holidays,” said President of the Predators Foundation Gerry Helper. “Whether it’s David Legwand and Ryan Suter delivering turkeys and then serving Thanksgiving meals, Vern Fiddler and Scott Nichol hosting Christmas dinner and a visit from Santa or player visits to hospitals and schools, Predators players want everyone to have an opportunity to celebrate the holidays.”

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