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10th: 10 years of community outreach

Saturday, 02.16.2008 / 8:03 PM / 10th Anniversary
By Kevin Wilson  - Nashville Predators
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10th: 10 years of community outreach

Established in 1998, the Nashville Predators Foundation strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of our community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. Through several fundraisers held throughout the year, the Predators Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to Nashville and Middle Tennessee area charities and community service organizations since its creation.

Some of the Foundation’s big events include:
“First Tennessee Dr. Mac Memorial Golf Tournament” held each September. The 2004 tournament’s name was changed in honor of the late Dr. James McPherson, who served as the Predators’ dentist from 1998-2004. The 2006 tournament raised more than $40,000 for the Nashville Predators Foundation.

The Predators “Unmasked Ball” in the winter. In past years, a Hawaiian, an Olympic celebration, a winter around the world atmosphere, a safari theme, a New Orleans Mardi Gras and a Disco Ball have highlighted the Unmasked Ball, a black-tie affair featuring Predators players, coaching staff and management. Guests attending the ball have had the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Stanley Cup and Predators players throughout the evening. The Unmasked Ball features a live and silent auction and has raised more than $850,000 since its inception in 1998.

The Foundation Wine Tasting and Fesival in early spring.The Predators Foundation held their inaugural Wine Tasting & Festival in 2006. The 2007 event consisted of a wine tasting on the floor of the Sommet Center and featured samples from over 120 wines, Budweiser beer, Red Bull and Spirits tasting. Levy Restaurants had culinary stations set up and served heavy hors d’oeuvres. The evening also included Predators personnel, locker room tours, a silent auction and photo opportunities with GNASH.

Jack Diller Education Award. Each year the Predators Foundation awards four high school seniors the Jack Diller Education Award in the amount of $2,500 each. All applicants must reside within Nashville and Middle Tennessee, excel in academics, athletics and volunteerism and are nominated by a teacher or coach. Applicants must include their transcript and an essay on why they are deserving of this award and two letters of recommendation. The four winning students are recognized during a Predators home game. Applications are available in September with a February 22, 2008 deadline.

Other events and activities that raise funds for the Nashville Predators Foundation include:
DEX Score & Win Program
The Nashville Predators Foundation and DEX Imaging and Mailing teamed up to raise over $36,000 through the DEX Score and Win Program in 2006-07. Every time a Predator scored a goal or recorded a goaltending win during the 2006-07 regular season, DEX made a donation to the Predators Foundation that was distributed to 10 Middle Tennessee charities. For every goal scored by a forward or a win by a goaltender, DEX contributed $100. The contribution was $150 for goals scored by a defenseman and there was a $200 bonus for hat tricks and shutouts.

2006-07 marked the second season of the DEX Score and Win Program. The program was launched midway through the 2005-06 season and brought in $18,750 that year. The program has now combined for almost $55,000 over the past two seasons.

DEX Imaging and Mailing provides premier office systems and service support in the Southeast and is the Official Office Equipment Provider of the Predators.

Game Night/On-line Silent Auction
The Predators Foundation presents a silent auction table at each Predators home game behind section 120 on the Main Concourse.  Autographed Predators memorabilia, jerseys and unique experiences are up for bid and auction winners are announced during the third period of the game. Predators Foundation on-line auctions are hosted on nhl.com throughout the season.

Birthday and Special Announcement Jumbotron Messages
For a donation to the Predators Foundation, fans have an opportunity to put birthday, anniversary and engagement announcements on the Jumbotron during Predators home games. In-game Jumbotron rates are $50 for a birthday announcement and $100 for an engagement announcement (based on game availability).

A birthday announcement requires a 72-hour notice and an engagement announcement requires a two-week notice. To schedule, please contact community relations at (615) 770-2321 or fan relations at (615) 770-PUCK.

Zamboni Rides/Pre-Game Visit to the Penalty Box
For a $100 donation to the Nashville Predators Foundation, Predators fans can ride the Zamboni or have the opportunity to sit in the visiting team’s penalty box during the Nashville Predators’ pre-game skate.  All requests should be made at least one week prior to the desired game (based on availability). Please contact community relations at (615) 770-2321 to schedule your FANGtastic Predators experience!

Donation Requests
The Nashville Predators are committed to positively influencing the community far beyond the game.  The team’s community relations department assists non-profit charities and other businesses to raise money for their own causes. 

To request a non-monetary donation for your event, please send a written request on your organization's letterhead or visit the Nashville Predators website at nashvillepredators.com/community to download the donation request form. All requests must include the event date, contact information with a daytime phone number and mailing address.

Please note that all donation requests must be made in writing on company letterhead and mailed or faxed to: Nashville Predators, Attn: Community Relations, 501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. Fax: (615) 770-2309.

All requests must be received at least 4-6 weeks prior to the date of your event. Please contact community relations for additional information at (615) 770-2331.

Nashville Predators Foundation Grant Recipients
In 2006-07, the Nashville Predators Foundation distributed 90 grants totaling more than $240,000 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations.

Grant Applications
The Predators Foundation places priority on giving back to the local communities where its players, employees and fans live and work. Foundation grants range from $500 to a maximum of $10,000.  Grant applications are available in September with a February 8, 2008 deadline.  Organizations must have a 501 (c)(3) status to apply.  To request an application, please contact the Nashville Predators Foundation at (615) 770-2321 or visit the Nashville Predators website at nashvillepredators.com/community. 

Community Relations
The Predators are committed to the underlying team mission to “work hard, play hard, and provide outrageous customer and community service.”  Every member of the Predators organization can be found giving back to the community throughout the season - from ownership to players to management to staff.

This commitment to the community is seen through various initiatives. A few of the Predators’ 2006-07 initiatives included Second Harvest Food Bank collections, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive, Salvation Army Kettle Drive, monthly hospital visits, Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, Holiday Party for kids and a “Teacher of the Month Program.”

The Nashville Predators are also actively involved in a variety of programs providing incentives for elementary, middle and high school students. 

Stick to Reading = Succeeding
Stick to Reading = Succeeding is an incentive program that encourages young students to read. Last season the Predators partnered with Lochinvar to create a reading incentive program in Wilson County. This program included prizes for the students who attained certain reading levels, school assemblies with appearances by Predators players, GNASH and Predators personnel and autographed memorabilia and tickets to encourage the students to excel in academics. 

Teacher of the Month
The Teacher of the Month program recognizes teachers in the greater Nashville area for their accomplishments. The Predators selects teachers based upon the principal’s portrayal of how the teacher has impacted students, school faculty and others around them. The Predators target a different county in the greater Nashville area each month and applications are distributed by the Predators to the principals.  The winning teacher each month receives a surprise visit from the Predators mascot GNASH, a certificate, tickets to a Predators game and recognition on the Predators web site.  For more information, please contact Community Relations at (615) 770-2188 or visit the Nashville Predators website at nashvillepredators.com/community.

Pencil Partner Program
The Pencil Partner Program partners the Nashville Predators with Lockeland Design Center Elementary School and Hunters Lane High School to provide unique opportunities to our developing youth. High school students have the opportunity to be a sportswriter for a day, attend the post-game press conference with Head Coach Barry Trotz and write a follow-up game story. Other opportunities in the program include complimentary tickets, donated autographed memorabilia, participation in hockey clinics and the opportunity for students to volunteer at Predators’ fundraising events.


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