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GRIFFINS LEND A HELPING HAND

2008-09 Griffins vs. Sled Wings Game


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ community programs and charitable efforts during the 2008-09 American Hockey League season generated a total of nearly $325,000 for various schools, organizations and nonprofits throughout West Michigan.

The Griffins Youth Foundation was the primary beneficiary of the team’s endeavors, receiving $135,000 of the total of $323,416 raised. These funds were garnered primarily through the annual golf classic ($85,000), the Great Skate Winterfest at Rosa Parks Circle ($14,000) and the auction of retro-themed jerseys on Jan. 24 ($12,400).

In addition to these events, the foundation held its fourth annual Sled Wings vs. Griffins sled hockey game on Dec. 9, which raised $2,500 for the Sled Wings program for physically challenged youth. Other funds were raised for the youth foundation through game-night promotions, while several traditional programs garnered significant funds for their appointed charities, including:

• Throw for Dough – $37,456 for sponsoring organizations;
• Growing With the Griffins –  $24,100 benefiting nine local youth hockey organizations;
• Hockey for the Heart –  $5,000 for the American Heart Association;
• Put A Lid On It –  $12,000 in ticket donations and $3,000 to Greater Grand Rapids Safe Kids/Lakeshore Safe Kids for the purchase of bike helmets for underprivileged kids.

After partnering with the statewide law firm of Garon Lucow Miller, P.C., the Griffins renewed their Pucks for Plates program this past season. At select Griffins home games, as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods and other locations throughout the community, 60 boys from Grandville Boy Scout Troop 292 sold specially designed pucks autographed by Griffins players and Red Wings personalities. Thanks to their efforts and the help of Garon Lucow Miller, $11,000 was raised for Guiding Light Mission, God’s Kitchen, Degage Ministries and Mel Trotter Ministries.

On Oct. 13, the Griffins hosted their inaugural Pups and Pucks Walk-A-Thon at Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary in Lake Odessa in conjunction with the Griffins Booster Club. Prior to a BBQ dinner with live music, hayrides and live auction, players and coaches walked rescued dogs for pledges. The event raised $15,000 for the no-kill shelter.

For seven Griffins players, scoring goals signified not just another tally on the scoreboard, but also a donation to charity through the Griffins’ Charitable Goals program. A total of $7,900 was raised for numerous charities, as Darren Helm and Chemical Bank paced the program with a $2,600 donation to Restorers Inc. and Lighthouse Communities, while leading goal scorer Darren Haydar and Centennial Securities Company donated $1,550 to Pursuing a Dream Foundation.

In addition, 8,168 tickets were redeemed through the Griffins’ Reading Goals program, which was open to participation by all schools in the Kent and Ottawa Intermediate School Districts. The Griffins also assisted several hundred schools and organizations during the course of the season through donations of memorabilia and personal appearances by Griffins players, staff and Griff, the team mascot.

Over the last seven seasons, the Griffins’ charitable activities have helped generate $2.1 million for causes and organizations in West Michigan.


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