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Nashville Companies Team Up to Help Kids

Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 11:33 AM CT / Features
By Savannah Hollis  - NashvillePredators.com
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Nashville Companies Team Up to Help Kids

Energy and spirits were high as the Nashville Predators participated in their third KaBoom! playground build at the Grace M. Eaton Childcare Early Learning Center on Friday, June 20. While this is the third build the Preds have participated in, this build marked the first time that the Preds came together with eight other organizations from the Nashville community to work as part of Corporate Nashville at Work’s Music City Giving program.

Corporate Nashville at Work’s Music City Giving program, made up of Bank of America, Delta Dental of Tennessee, Jackson National, LP Building Products, MAPCO Express, Mars Petcare US, Nashville Electric Service and Piedmont Natural Gas along with the Predators, came together with the hopes of giving back to the Nashville community, and decided to start by partnering with KaBoom!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids living in poverty by building safe areas for children to play.

The Grace M. Eaton Center, a child care and early learning center located in North Nashville, has been in existence since 1926 and offered KaBoom! and Music City Giving the perfect spot to make a difference in the lives of kids.

Rebecca King, the director of community relations for the Preds, saw the importance of the professional hockey team becoming part of Music City Giving.

“It’s a pretty powerful group of companies who are based in Nashville,” King said. “It’s really important for [the Preds] to give back to the community and this was a unique opportunity for all of the companies to come together and make a huge impact.”

Snow Rose, another member of the Preds’ community relations department, agreed with King. Both note that the lasting impact that Music City Giving is able to have on the kids through the playground build is only the beginning.

“I think that by building rapport with the other organizations, there’s no telling what we can do in the future to benefit the community,” Rose said.

Individuals from all nine organizations involved in Music City Giving were able build relationships throughout the day as more than 200 volunteers participated in the six-hour long project. Volunteers contributed through painting, mixing and laying cement, landscaping, construction and more.

Although many of the volunteers were participating in their first KaBoom! build, there were a few veterans who returned to help.

Paul Cook, a member of the Predators’ hockey operations department, participated in both of the previous builds that the team was involved with.

“[Volunteering] is always fun and I think it gets easier every time because we get more volunteers every year,” Cook said. “People see how fun it is and the contribution we can make. At the end of the day we get to see smiling kids and that’s really what we are out here for.”

Matt Hamann, another member of the hockey operations department, came to volunteer at this build, his second with KaBoom!, because of how much he liked it the first time around.

“I did KaBoom! last year and had a really great time,” Hamann said. “I think the most important part of these projects is giving back to those who can reap the benefits of what we’re doing, and that we’re making an immediate difference in the community for kids.”

KaBoom! President Bruce Bowman worked alongside volunteers throughout the entire day.

Bowman, who was named President of KaBoom! in 2012, believes strongly in the goal of the non-profit organization and how it hopes to make an impact on the lives of children.

“Our core belief at KaBoom! is that play matters to all kids, especially to the 16 million kids living in poverty,” said Bowman. “Our main goal is to bring play to those kids in an active and balanced way so they can thrive as kids and grow up to be successful adults.”

Since 2009, eight out of the 30 NHL teams have participated in a KaBoom! build. With some teams, like the Predators, working on their second or third builds, more teams are participating every year, helping KaBoom! spread their “Play Matters” mission all across North America.

“It seems like new teams participate each year,” Bowman said. “It’s like the more other teams hear about what we do, the more they want to get involved, which we are thrilled with.”

During the build at the Grace M. Eaton Center, 10-year-old YouTube sensation, “Kid President” Robby Novak, stopped by to ensure that volunteers stayed in high spirits, and was able to sum up the entirety of the project from a child’s perspective perfectly.

“This is just awesome!” Kid President said.

Click here to view photos from the KaBoom build >>





1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33