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Players donated $312K to charity in '14-15

by Christy Hammond / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – In partnership with the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, 24 players on the Detroit Red Wings roster and head coach Mike Babcock participated in a charitable program during the 2014-15 season, ranging from ticket and financial donations, meet and greets with hospitalized children and military members, volunteering at charitable organizations and serving as spokesmen for community relations theme nights during Red Wings games.

Seven players made donations based on personal statistics achieved over the course of the season, generating a total donation of $24,975 to seven Metro Detroit-based nonprofits.

Drew Miller blocked 99 shots for a total donation of $7,425 to The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread Truck program. This donation will enable the Bed & Bread Truck to feed 49 people a day for an entire year or feed 742 people on the truck.

Tomas Tatar’s 56 points this season resulted in a $5,600 donation to Gleaners Community Food Bank’s BackPack program. Each recipient school typically receives about 100 BackPack bags every week. Tatar’s donation will provide one school with 11 weeks’ worth of BackPack bags.

• In addition to featuring nine adoptable dogs through his Riley’s Rescues program and shooting a PSA for the Michigan Humane Society, Riley Sheahan’s donation of $3,600 will allow their emergency rescue program to assist 18 pets from the point of rescue to when the pet is available for adoption.

• As the honorary event chairman for the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk, Jimmy Howard agreed to donate $50 for every save he made during the Wings-Rangers game on the same day as the walk (Dec. 6). Howard made 27 saves in the game, but rounded up his donation to $2,000. His donation will cover the costs of seven children with juvenile arthritis to attend Camp Dakota this summer.

• Last season, Jonathan Ericsson recorded enough hits in the season to send 15 children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit to spend the night at The Detroit Zoo. This year, a higher hit total resulted in a larger donation, allowing for 25 kids to spend the night at the zoo this summer courtesy of “52 for the Zoo.”

The Red Wings welcomed 2,436 guests to the 45 preseason and regular season games this year through 16 different player and coach charity ticket programs, totaling an in-kind donation value of $277,914. The Zetterberg Foundation Suite alone hosted 834 guests from numerous children’s charities, including Make-A-Wish Michigan, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit. While a majority of the players elected to donate two or four season tickets, three players – Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith and Stephen Weiss – chose to purchase a suite for a select game or games and donate it to a designated nonprofit.

On March 17, 2015, the team hosted a Community Relations Skating Party, presented by Coca-Cola, where nearly 200 guests from the player charity ticket programs had the opportunity to watch the team practice, enjoy a complimentary lunch and skate on the ice at Joe Louis Arena. Four players – Justin Abdelkader, Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser and Darren Helm – met their guests after practice in the International Bancard Olympia Club.

In addition to the players’ individual charitable initiatives, 12 players and their significant others adopted families through Volunteers of America and Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. The Red Wings invited the families down to The Joe on Dec. 18, 2014, to watch practice and then meet their respective player with some families deciding to open presents in front of the players.

A full list of player programs can be found below. For more information on the Red Wings involvement in the community, visit www.DetroitRedWings.com/PlayerPrograms.

52 for the Zoo – For every hit recorded by Jonathan Ericsson this season, he donated $50 to the Detroit Zoological Society. This donation will fund a scholarship program to send underprivileged kids to an overnight experience at the Detroit Zoo in the summer.

Abby’s All Stars – Since 2012-13, Justin Abdelkader has hosted one elementary student and his/her guardian at every Red Wings regular-season home game. The Red Wings randomly select a student who has submitted an entry form for the Red Wings for Reading program.

Andy’s Avengers – Joakim Andersson hosted one child with a muscular disorder or muscular dystrophy and his/her guardian through the Muscular Dystrophy Association at every Red Wings home game this season.

Big Hearts Mini Monsters – Jonas Gustavsson hosted a child with a congenital heart defect at each home game with a pair of donated upper bowl season tickets to Hearts of Hope Michigan and Cardiac Kids in Toronto.

Brendan Smith: Breast Cancer Awareness Night Spokesperson – Brendan Smith is the team spokesman for Breast Cancer Awareness Night. He participated in the on-ice check presentation prior to the game and donated his two lower-bowl tickets and a meet and greet for the concourse auction. He also donated a 20-person suite for two-time breast cancer survivors for the 2014 BCA Night game. They were treated to complimentary food and beverages along with goody bags and a post-game meet and greet.

Brian’s Beats – Brian Lashoff donated $50 for every hit he recorded with the Red Wings this season. The funds will benefit Freedom Hill Foundation to pay for donated musical instruments and music therapy to military veterans at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit.

Cleary’s Kids – Daniel Cleary hosted a child who has had an organ transplant or is currently waiting for an organ transplant at each game during the season through the University of Michigan's Transplant Center.

Coach’s Visit – Since 2005-06, Mike Babcock has hosted a patient at Children's Hospital of Michigan and his/her guardian at every Red Wings home game.

DeKeyser’s Hometown Heroes – Danny DeKeyser hosted a military member (active or retired) and a guest at every Red Wings home game this season.

14’s Friends – Gustav Nyquist hosted families staying at Ronald McDonald House Detroit and Ann Arbor (10 guests from each house) in a suite on Nov. 9.

Franzen’s Friends – Since 2013-14, Johan Franzen has hosted a Special Olympics athlete and his/her guardian at every Red Wings home game.

Gametime with Glendening – Luke Glendening hosted a child with Down syndrome and his/her family at every Red Wings home game this season and met the family after the game. Two nonprofits (Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan and Down Syndrome Support Group) equally split the games and selected the guests for each game.

Helm’s Heroes – Darren Helm hosted a youth hockey player with a medical condition and his/her guardian at every Red Wings home game this season with two donated tickets.

Henrik Zetterberg: Smoke Detector Collection Spokesman – Each year, the Red Wings ask fans to donate smoke detectors and make monetary donations at two preseason games to support the annual Smoke Detector Collection. Since 2005-06, Henrik Zetterberg has been the team spokesman for the initiative that has distributed more than 28,000 smoke detectors since 2001. The Zetterberg Foundation matched the fans’ donations and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation uses the matching donation to purchase additional smoke detectors that are distributed to Michigan fire departments.

Jimmy Howard: Arthritis Foundation Spokesman – As event chairman for the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run/Walk for a fourth year, Jimmy Howard shoots a PSA and provides autographed items to use as incentives. Howard donated $50 for every save he made during the Dec. 6 game to Arthritis Foundation for its Camp Dakota program in honor of the Detroit Jingle Bell Run/Walk occurring on the same day.

Howard’s Heroes – Jimmy Howard hosted a patient at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids and their family at every Grand Rapids Griffins home game. The Griffins coordinate the program and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital selects the guests for each game.

Kindl’s Krew – Since 2013-14, Jakub Kindl has hosted an adult cancer patient or survivor at Karmanos Cancer Institute and his/her guest at every Red Wings home game. Karmanos selects the guest for each game.

Kronner’s Corner – Since 2012-13, Niklas Kronwall has hosted a family with an autistic child at every Red Wings home game through Autism Alliance of Michigan.

Kyle Quincey: Greening of Detroit – This season, Kyle Quincey supported the local nonprofit, Greening of Detroit, through appearances for David Yurman with 10% of the merchandise sold at the events to benefit Greening of Detroit as selected by Quincey.

Miller’s Meals – Drew Miller donated $75 for every blocked shot he records during the 2014-15 season to support The Salvation Army's Bed & Bread Truck program. One blocked shot helped feed seven people for one day on their truck. Two blocked shots helped feed 15 people for one day or help feed one person a day for an entire year.

Pav’s Pals – Since 2012-13, Pavel Datsyuk has hosted a family through Henry Ford's Sand Castles program at every Red Wings home game. The family has recently suffered the loss of a parent.

Riley’s Rescues – Riley Sheahan donated $100 for every point he recorded during the 2014-15 season to the Michigan Humane Society's emergency rescue program. He also visited the Detroit MHS location once a month to take a photo with a pet available for adoption that the Red Wings posted on our social platforms. The person who adopts that particular pet will receive a goody bag from the Wings with an autographed 8x10 photo of Sheahan.

Tatar’s Totes – Tomas Tatar donated $100 per point during the 2014-15 season to the Gleaners Community Food Bank's BackPack Program. The BackPack Program sends a bag with six meals home with hungry elementary students.

26 Fights Homelessness – Tomas Jurco donated $100 per goal during the 2014-15 season to Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS). COTS provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, as well as comprehensive support services for the homeless and at-risk population.

Zetterberg Foundation Suite – Since 2011-12, Henrik Zetterberg has donated his Zetterberg Foundation Suite to children's charities for most Red Wings home games and a select number of other events at Joe Louis Arena. The bulk of the games are donated to Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit.

Weiss’ Warriors – Stephen Weiss hosted pediatric cancer patients and his/her family members in a 20-person suite at three separate games. He donated one suite each to Gilda's Club, Wigs 4 Kids and Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan and met with his guests in the suite.

About the Detroit Red Wings Foundation:
The Detroit Red Wings Foundation is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation invests in the future of our community by providing funds and resources to worthy causes that contribute to the growth of the sport of hockey. Ilitch Charities is a non-profit organization that invests in our community’s future by supporting innovative, collaborative and measurable programs in the areas of community development, human services, education and recreation through contributions from the Ilitch companies, their colleagues and the generosity of others. For more information, please visit www.DetroitRedWings.com/Foundation.

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