The Minnesota Wild Foundation announced today that nine local charities were selected as the inaugural recipients of the “Wild Idea Grant Program.” The non-profit programs will receive $180,000 in total, awarded as one-time grants that help to advance the foundation’s mission to support the game of hockey and improve the lives of families in the State of Hockey.
“The Minnesota Wild Foundation is thrilled to be able to grant these funds today to nine very deserving local charities through the Wild Idea Grant program,” said Pamela Wheelock, board chair of the Minnesota Wild Foundation. “Each of these organizations is working to help children and families in our community and grow the game of hockey, which aligns with the mission and purpose of the Wild Foundation. It’s a privilege to be able to share their stories and their good work.”
A new recipient will be announced every hour beginning at 9 a.m. CT today on the Minnesota Wild’s Twitter (@mnwild) and Facebook pages.
The grants were made possible thanks to funds raised at various events and sales held throughout the season that were generously supported by fans, community and corporate partners, and Wild players.
Submissions for the Wild Foundation’s first-ever public grant were accepted via online application from Oct. 10 – Nov. 22, 2015. More than 30 applications were received. Special consideration was given to organizations that provide gear and equipment for hockey programs and those that provide services to families that have a child battling a serious illness or disease.
The recipients of the 2015-16 Wild Idea Grant Program are:
- Crescent Cove — The mission of Crescent Cove is to offer care and support to children and young adults with a shortened life-expectancy and their families. Crescent Cove receives a $50,000 grant for their Youth and Family Services program. This program provides integrative therapy services (massage therapy, healing touch, reflexology, music therapy, spiritual care/chaplaincy) to families receiving primary care from children’s hospitals in the Twin Cities. These therapies aim to decrease pain, anxiety and stress and improve quality of life. For more information about Crescent Cove visit www.crescentcove.org.
- Hope Inc. — The mission of Hope Inc. is to provide family-friendly sporting and recreational opportunities critical to the health and development of children and adults with mobility challenges. Hope Inc. receives a grant for $30,000 to support their sled hockey program. Grant funds will be used to purchase new sleds, helmets, sticks and gear to meet the growing demands of their sled program. For more information about Hope Inc. visit www.hopeinc.org.
- Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey — The mission of Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey is to organize and administer an ice hockey program in Minnesota that provides a recreational, therapeutic experience for United States military personnel wounded, injured or disabled in defense of the United States. The Minnesota Warriors receives a grant for $30,000 to be used to expand their program into three Minnesota communities: St. Cloud, Duluth and Fergus Falls, by providing the necessary equipment to outfit teams in these areas. For more information about Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey visit www.mnwarriors.com.
- Pinky Swear Foundation — The mission of the Pinky Swear Foundation is to help kids with cancer and their families by providing immediate basic needs, support and unique family programs. Pinky Swear Foundation receives a grant for $25,000 to support their Envelope Program. Pinky Swear’s Envelope Program pays for immediate non-medical needs for families of children diagnosed with cancer. These grants include mortgages, rent payments, utilities, and funds for gas and groceries. For more information about Pinky Swear Foundation visit www.pinkyswear.org.
- Wishes & More — Wishes & More is Minnesota’s own children’s charity with three programs. They not only grant heart-felt wishes to children from birth to age 19 with terminal and life-threatening conditions, they also provide them with a Scholarship of Hope. In addition, they have a Memorial Program which provides monetary support to families who lose a child before they can experience a wish. Wishes & More receives a grant for $10,000 to support Wish Bags, which are given to each “wish child” and their sibling(s). For more information about Wishes & More visit www.wishesandmore.org.
- Minnesota Sled Hockey Association — The mission of the Minnesota Sled Hockey Association is to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in hockey and promotes the development of excellence in hockey in Minnesota. The Minnesota Sled Hockey program is open to players age 5 and above with physical and/or cognitive disabilities. The Minnesota Sled Hockey Association receives a grant for $10,000 to purchase new sleds, sticks and gear to meet the needs of their growing teams. For more information about the Minnesota Sled Hockey Association visit www.mnsledhockey.org.
- United Heroes League (formerly Defending The Blue Line) — The mission of the United Heroes League is to ensure that the children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in sports. United Heroes League receives a grant for $10,000 to support their annual Warrior Camp. Warrior Camp brings together kids throughout the state of Minnesota who share a common bond of being military families and gives them the opportunity to grow via learning new skills on the ice. For more information about United Heroes League visit www.unitedheroesleague.org.
- Herb Brooks Foundation — The mission of the Herb Brooks Foundation is to grow the game of hockey, to give kids a positive experience in the game and to learn life lessons. The Herb Brooks Foundation receives a grant for $10,000 to support their Learn to Skate/Beginning Hockey and Power Skating programs. For more information about the Herb Brooks Foundation visit www.herbbrooksfoundation.com.
- Rochester Sled Hockey of the Minnesota Sled Hockey Association - The mission of Rochester Sled Hockey is to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in hockey and promote the continued development of excellence in hockey in Minnesota. The Rochester Sled Hockey program promotes total wellness of disabled athletes including physical health, mental health and quality of life. The program is open to players age 5 and above with physical disabilities throughout southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin and northern Iowa. The Rochester Sled Hockey program receives a grant for $5,000 to support their “Grow the Game” initiative by providing the equipment they need to host awareness events, clinics and free skates across southern Minnesota. For more information about Rochester Sled Hockey visit www.rochestersledhockey.org.
Applications for the 2016-17 Wild Idea Grant Program will be accepted online at wild.com/grants from Sept. 1 – Nov. 13, 2016. The Wild Foundation will distribute 2016-17 grants in the spring of 2017.
The Wild Idea Grant program supports programming and services. It does not fund capital budget projects or campaigns, facilities or rink refurbishments or operating expenses. For more information about the Wild Idea Grant Program, visit wild.com/grants.
About the Minnesota Wild Foundation
The Minnesota Wild Foundation exists to support the game of hockey and improve the lives of families in the State of Hockey. Since its inception in 2000, the Minnesota Wild has invested over 11.8 million dollars back into the community through donations and service. The Minnesota Wild Foundation, with help from Wild players, supports pediatric medical causes, serves as the largest non-member funding source for Minnesota Hockey, and provides fundraising opportunities for youth hockey associations across the state. For more, visit wild.com/foundation.