ROCKFORD, Ill. – As the Rockford IceHogs near the midpoint of the season, icehogs.com is highlighting community initiatives spearheaded by our players and front-office staff from a busy opening stretch to the 2019-20 campaign. These fun and impactful events are part of the IceHogs’ season-long community outreach programming, which are sponsored by Comcast.
HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER/STICK IT TO CANCER
For the second consecutive year, the IceHogs joined in the fight against cancer during the month of November, with the team’s efforts culminating in Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) Night on Nov. 29. The Hogs donned specialty lavender jerseys for the contest, which were in-tun auctioned and raffled off with proceeds benefiting the SwedishAmerican Foundation. The Hogs also provided “I Fight For” signs during HFC for fans to honor loved ones who have been affected by cancer.
In addition, the IceHogs unveiled a new charitable initiative for the contest, “Stick it to Cancer.” The initiative gave fans the opportunity to put a loved one’s name on an IceHogs player’s stick for the HFC game against the Chicago Wolves. The player, in-turn, then played that evening’s game in honor of the person’s name on their stick.
Overall, the IceHogs raised $26,874 for cancer research.
TEDDY BEAR TOSS/BERNIE’S BEARS
Teddy bears rained down on the ice in record numbers for the IceHogs’ annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Nov. 30. The Hogs and their generous fans collected a team-record 4,369 stuffed animals to donate to local organizations/non-profits for those in need. Several IceHogs players made in-person deliveries to local hospitals, where they met and spent time with kids and dropped off giant bags of stuffed animals.
Chicago Blackhawks Vice President, Hockey Operations/Team Affiliates and IceHogs General Manager, Mark Bernard, again led the “Bernie’s Bears” initiative in conjunction with the team’s Teddy Bear Toss. Mark and his wife, Julie, donated a teddy bear for each goal the Hogs scored in November and matched fans’ donations up to 100 bears from the actual Teddy Bear Toss.
The Blackhawks, IceHogs Booster Club and Huge Prints also matched the donation.
Overall, the IceHogs have donated roughly 43,000 stuffed animals to charity.
JR. ICEHOGS PRACTICES
Rockford IceHogs players have made numerous appearances at local youth hockey practices this season. The players surprise the youth hockey players at their practice, participate in on-ice workouts and drills, help coach the team and sign autographs at the conclusion of skate. The IceHogs have made surprise appearances at more than 10 practices already this season.
School Reading Program
The IceHogs Reading Program (presented by Rose Pest Solutions) is open to students K-6th grade and encourages classrooms to read throughout the school year. Students are rewarded for reaching milestones for time spent reading during the year, with prizes including free IceHogs tickets, a chance to walk onto the BMO ice during a home game and a pizza party!
The top three readers and top overall classroom are recognized on the video board during an IceHogs home game.
Hogs players and staff members also made appearances at local libraries and schools to read to children.
FATHERHOOD ENCOURAGEMENT PROJECT
The IceHogs players and staff donated several thousand dollars to the Fatherhood Encouragement Project to help “adopt” a child for the holidays. Players and staff then went to Target to Christmas shop for the kids the Fatherhood Encouragement Project adopted. The trip helped provide gifts for kids in need during the holiday season.
For more information on the Fatherhood Encouragement Project, click HERE