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12/15/2006 2:33 AM -

<i>The annual Sled Wings sled hockey game on Dec. 5 kicked off a busy time for the Griffins' players and community programs. Mark your calendars now for The Great Skate, Delivering the Dough and the return of Tip-A-Griffin!</i>

You know it's December when the Lions are out of playoff contention and the Griffins' community programs slip into high gear.

On Dec. 5, Griff's IceHouse hosted the annual sled hockey game versus the Grand Rapids Sled Wings. The friendly competition pitted the entire Griffins roster against the Sled Wings, a team of physically challenged youth sponsored by the Grand Rapids Griffins Youth Foundation in partnership with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

Approximately 500 people came out to enjoy the fun and show their support, helping to raise more than $2,800 for the Sled Wings program.

Want to join in? Mark your calendars for these great upcoming Griffins events.

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The fifth annual Great Skate returns to Rosa Parks Ice Rink in downtown Grand Rapids on Jan. 13-14, 2007. Every Griffins player and coach will take part in this 24-hour marathon, each skating alongside fans for at least one hour around the clock to benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation.

Festivities will include games, music from local high school pep bands, and raffles for various items, including an autographed Nicklas Lidstrom jersey. The Griffins Booster Club will hold a bake sale, and participants can enjoy fire pits, a warming tent and complimentary Starbucks coffee.

The action begins Jan. 13 at 10 p.m., immediately following the Griffins' home game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and concludes at 10 p.m. the following night. There is no cost to participate in the event, but donations are encouraged.

For more information, call 970-5437.

The Tip-A-Griffin fundraiser returns for the 2006-07 season. On Jan. 30, 2007, Griffins players and coaches will serve food and wait tables at Gilmore Collection restaurants, with tips and auction proceeds benefiting charity. Check for further details as the event approaches.

The annual Delivering the Dough promotion will feature Griffins players delivering pizzas on March 6, 2007 to help raise money for charity. Players will accompany Peppino’s Pizza delivery drivers for three hours, with Peppino’s donating a percentage of sales to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Resource Team (P.O.R.T.).


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Through the Charitable Goals program, local companies team with Griffins players to help raise money for various charities. Every time the player scores a goal or records a point, the company donates $50 or $100 towards a mutually agreed upon charity.

This year’s partnerships and current totals include:
<li>Derek Meech and Centennial Securities, $50 per goal to the Pursuing a Dream Foundation;
<li>Eric Himelfarb and Comcast, $50 per goal to the United Way ($150);
<li>Matt Hussey and Dean Foods, $50 per goal to Big Brothers Big Sisters ($250);
<li>Josh Langfeld and Fuel Systems, $50 per goal to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation ($400);
<li>Kip Miller and GM Wood Products, $100 per goal to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Pulmonary Fund ($1000);
<li>Scott Barney and Grand-Craft, $50 per goal to St. John’s Home ($50);
<li>Brendan Brooks and The Omelette Shoppe, and Darryl Bootland and Garan, Lucow & Miller, both $50 per goal to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital ($300,$350);
<li>Matt Ellis and Lighthouse Insurance, $50 per goal to the American Red Cross ($500);
<li>Danny Syvret and Davenport University, $100 per goal to the Griffins Youth Foundation ($400);
<li>Kyle Quincey and Peppino’s Pizza, $50 per goal to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Resource Team (P.O.R.T.) ($100).


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<center><b>Kip Miller</b> and <b>Eric Himelfarb</b> were ready for action with local Marines and Melanie Miller of the Sugar Association on Monday, Dec. 11, to unload $7,500 worth of sports gear for Grand Rapids Toys for Tots. The Sugar Association and local company Pioneer Sugar donated over 600 pieces of sports equipment, including Griffins hockey sticks, footballs, soccer balls, baseballs and bats, and jump ropes to help local kids have an active and healthy holiday. The Griffins and the Sugar Association raised an additional $1,000 at a Celebrity Bake Sale earlier this season, with proceeds also buying sports gear for Toys for Tots.</center>

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