GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– The Grand Rapids Griffins’ community programs and charitable efforts during the 2006-07 American Hockey League season generated a record total of more than $320,000 for various schools, organizations and nonprofits throughout West Michigan.
The Griffins Youth Foundation was the primary beneficiary of the team’s endeavors, receiving $144,910 of the total of $320,496 raised. These funds were garnered primarily through the annual golf classic ($95,000), the fourth annual Great Skate at Rosa Parks Circle ($15,000), the “Back in Black” jersey auction on Feb. 17 ($10,915), and the March 12 Tip-A-Griffin event held at the Gilmore Collection of Restaurants ($9,000).
In addition to these events the foundation held its second annual Sled Wings vs. Griffins sled hockey game, 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 and online auctions, while several traditional programs garnered significant funds for their appointed charities, including:
• Throw for Dough - $26,124 for sponsoring organizations;
• Growing With the Griffins - $15,000 benefiting nine local youth hockey organizations;
• Hockey for the Heart - $12,100 for the American Heart Association;
• Put A Lid On It - $8,000 in ticket donations and $3,000 to Greater Grand Rapids Safe Kids/Lakeshore Safe Kids for the purchase of bike helmets for underprivileged kids;
• Saver of the Game - $4,000 donated by Chemical Bank to Habitat for Humanity and New Development Corp.
The Griffins held two separate food drives during the season through their Give and Go promotion, bringing in 874 food items and a total of $1,748 that was split between Degage Ministries, Mel Trotter Ministries, Guiding Light Mission, and God’s Kitchen.
For 11 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 $9,950 was raised for numerous charities, as leading goal scorer Kip Miller and GM Wood Products paced the program with a $2,500 donation to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Pulmonary Fund.
In addition to these formal events and programs, upwards of $40,000 was raised by and for youth hockey teams, community organizations, schools and charities through ticket fundraising and ticket donations. 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 five seasons, the Griffins’ charitable activities have helped generate nearly $1.5 million for causes and organizations in West Michigan.