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Griffins Raised Over $450,000 For Charity During 2023-24 Season

Jun 19, 2024
Written By: Andrew Streitel

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins’ community programs and charitable efforts during the 2023-24 American Hockey League season generated $455,986 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 $223,700 through the 29th annual Griffins Youth Foundation Golf Classic at American Dunes Golf Club ($90,155), the in-game 50/50 raffle ($68,487), the 19th annual Great Skate Winterfest ($54,865), the 15th annual Tip-A-Griffin at Peppino’s ($5,358), Star Wars Night ($4,700), and the 17th annual Griffins and Sled Wings Sled Hockey Game ($708).

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

  • Jersey Auctions - $108,824 through seven post-game auctions of various game-worn jerseys;
  • Hockey, Hops & Hope - $20,000 for Easterseals MORC;
  • Throw for Dough - $13,848 for sponsoring organizations through both puck and ticket sales;
  • Community Ticket Donations/Group Fundraisers and Donations - $39,339;
  • Charitable Goals - $10,756 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’s pledge pages, where fans could donate to the Griffins Youth Foundation on behalf of a certain Griffins player/staff member or youth foundation player. Eemil Viro led all Griffins players with $3,050 in donations while equipment manager Brad Thompson ($2,950) and Carter Mazur ($1,500) rounded out the top three.  

This year’s Charitable Goals program was paced by rookie Mazur, who with the help of Fox Motors raised $1,700 for the Griffins Youth Foundation. Griffins goaltenders and Kilwins garnered $1,781 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, 7,295 tickets were redeemed through the Griffins’ Reading Goals, Summer Reading, and Put A Lid On It! programs.  

During the 23rd annual Teddy Bear Toss Game on Nov. 24, the Griffins collected 3,600 teddy bears for the Billy Bear Hug Foundation, supporting kids in West Michigan.

Four players adopted children/families at Christmas and provided gifts through Catholic Charities of West Michigan. Tyler Spezia also hosted one patient from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital each month, treating them and their families to an MVP Experience including VIP parking, tickets, concessions, a bench visit, an option to ride the Zamboni or read the starting lineup to the players, plus a post-game locker room visit.