I’m writing this article today to remind everyone that there are more important things involved with an NHL lockout than whether games continue or who gets what amount of money. Each team has some form of charity in which they make donations to, or hold events to help raise considerable amounts of money to support.
The Florida Panthers Foundation, which is designed to raise money to help fight pediatric cancer, could miss out on not only generous donations from the team and it’s players, but valuable one-on-one time with the players at appearances.
The Panthers Foundation has a partnership with the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital and holds multiple events each year for the children, including visiting them during the holidays with “Stanley Claws” (the team’s mascot Stanley Panther dressed as Santa Claus). Whether the players continue to visit the children would be completely up to them, but how awkward may it be to have every small child ask why they’re not playing and may not understand the answer they receive?
The Florida Panthers and the Foundation also host numerous events to raise money, such as the “Ford Face-Off Gala and Casino Night”, which is scheduled for October 10th, just before the season is set to start. Fans have the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the event at the cost of $150, and then sit with their favorite players for card games, roulette, craps, and other games, while the players serve as dealers.
Overall it’s a good time in which fans can interact with players and everyone can have a good night together. Money is also raised through auctions to go towards the Panthers Foundation, but can the team really expect the players to show if they’re locking them out?
There’s so much more to a lockout that neither the NHL or NHLPA seem to mention, which may be a good gesture for both sides to not point fingers when dealing with charities. But in the end it comes down to both the players, owners and the NHL to live up to a commitment they made to the charities. I wrote of the Panthers Foundation as it’s the only charity I have knowledge on currently, however so many are affected across the league. For the children’s sake I hope both sides can show some good faith and agree to work together should a lockout occur.
You can visit the Florida Panthers team website to find out more about the Panthers Foundation, and their activities and goals. I’m sure all donations are greatly appreciated.