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Griffins Raised Over $400,000 for Charity

May 17, 2023
Written By: Andrew Streitel

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ community programs and charitable efforts during the 2022-23 America Hockey League season generated $415,112 for various schools, organizations and nonprofits throughout West Michigan.

The Griffins Youth Foundation was the top beneficiary of the team’s endeavors, receiving more than $178,000 through the 28th annual Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic at American Dunes Golf Club ($70,000), the in-game 50/50 raffle ($62,327), the 18th annual Great Skate Winterfest ($39,966), the 14th annual Tip-A-Griffin at Peppino’s ($4,885), and the 16th annual Griffins and Sled Wings sled hockey game ($1,039).

Several of the Griffins’ traditional programs generated significant funds for their appointed charities, including:

  • Jersey Auctions - $122,754 was raised through seven post-game auctions of various game-worn jerseys;
  • Hockey, Hops & Hope - $42,000 for Easterseals MORC;
  • Great Skate Winterfest - $39,966 for the Griffins Youth Foundation;
  • Throw for Dough - $34,691 for sponsoring organizations through both puck and ticket sales;
  • Tip-A-Griffin - $4,885 for the Griffins Youth Foundation;
  • Griffins and Sled Wings Sled Hockey Game - $1,039 for the Grand Rapids Sled Wings and the Griffins Youth Foundation;
  • Community Ticket Donations/Group Fundraisers and Donations - $96,338;
  • Charitable Goals - $11,112 was raised as the result of nine local companies teaming with Griffins players to raise money for various charities. A donation was made each time the player scored a goal, made a save, or the team killed off a home penalty.

The Griffins raised nearly $16,000 through the Great Skate Winterfest Pledge Pages, where fans could donate to the Griffins Youth Foundation on behalf of a certain Griffins player/staff member or youth foundation player. Matt Luff led all Griffins players with $303 in donations while equipment manager Brad Thompson ($1,170) and assistant coach Mike Knuble ($1,070) each generated over $1,000.

This year’s charitable goals program was paced by leading goal scorer Joel L’Esperance, who with the help of Acrisure raised $2,500 for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Griffins goaltenders and Kilwins garnered $1,987 for Kids’ Food Basket. As a team, Grand Rapids’ home penalty kill and Tito’s donated $2,625 to Kids’ Food Basket.

Grand Rapids also assisted several schools and the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital during the course of the season through donations of memorabilia and personal appearances by Griffins players. In addition, 7,200 tickets were redeemed through the Griffins’ Reading Goals, Summer Reading, and Put A Lid On It! programs.

The Griffins installed three custom-made Little Free Libraries inside local community rinks in the Grand Rapids area. A fourth library was donated to Logan Hoyle of Comstock Park through the team’s “Win a Griffins Little Library!” contest. During the 22nd annual Teddy Bear Toss Game on Nov. 25, the Griffins collected more than 3,000 teddy bears for the Billy Bear Hug Foundation, supporting kids in West Michigan.

Photo by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins