The Charlotte Checkers and Husqvarna contributed more than 400 volunteer hours and $5,000 in monetary and in-kind donations throughout their daily community service program “15 Days of Giving.”
The two organizations, both of which have strong ties to the Charlotte community, spent 15 days volunteering time, money and resources to help local non-profit organizations.
The program began on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Checkers’ preseason game against the Lake Erie Monsters and wrapped up Saturday, Oct. 15 with a site clean-up and renovation at the historic Dowd House in West Charlotte.
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off the season than 15 straight days of helping out in the community,” said Checkers COO Tera Black. “Both the Checkers and Husqvarna have proven track records of volunteer service and donating and our employees really took the initiative each day to make this happen.”
Husqvarna vice president of marketing John Marchionda added: “It has meant a lot to Husqvarna to spend 15 days out in the community. Our employees were very passionate about it and everyone was eager to give back.”
More than 30 volunteers from the Checkers and Husqvarna participated in a clean-up and site restoration project with Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation at the historic Dowd House in West Charlotte.
The participants spent the morning raking around the house, picking up sticks and trash among other clean-up tasks.
Built in 1879, the historic Dowd House was once at the center of a 250-acre farm and also served as the U.S. Army's headquarters during the construction of the 2,500 acre Camp Greene, which housed more than 60,000 soldiers during World War I.
Day 14 of “15 Days of Giving” was spent spreading the word for the Checkers and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s fundraiser for this Saturday’s home opener. More than 100 $15 tickets were sold, with $6 going back to CFF. Johnatan Romero, an honoree for the 2011 Standout Charlotte Award, was a guest on Fox’s morning show Fox News Rising with Wilson promoting the fundraiser, while Husqvarna employees helped sell tickets.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to supporting the development of new drugs to fight Cystic Fibrosis, improve the quality of life for those with CF, and ultimately find a cure. For more information, visit www.cff.org.
Day 13 of the Checkers' and Husqvarna's "15 Days of Giving" was spent at Second Harvest Food Bank as 18 volunteers from both organizations spent the morning sorting food and supplies at the warehouse.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina strives to eliminate hunger by the solicitation and distribution of food and provides a regional distribution warehouse and branches that supply food and grocery items to almost 650 agencies in a 19-county area. These agencies include soup kitchens, emergency pantries, emergency shelters, low-income day cares, senior programs and group homes. For more information, visit http://www.secondharvestmetrolina.org.
The Checkers and Husqvarna spent Day 12 of “15 Days of Giving” with A Child’s Place, a local non-profit that works to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education.
A group of 18 volunteers was split up among two Charlotte-area schools and spent the morning learning about homelessness in the Charlotte area and visiting and eating lunch with the children. The group also packed bags of food and toiletries for those who are less fortunate to take home with them and wrote personal letters to the children.
A Child’s Place began in 1989 and helped more than 2,300 homeless children in 2010-11 alone by providing educational and emotional support services as well as medical referrals to keep the children healthy and in the classroom. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, visit www.achildsplace.org.
Classroom Central was the setting for Day 11 as employees of the Checkers and Husqvarna, Checkers forwards Matt Pistilli and Cedric McNicoll, and Chubby helped teachers find supplies, load their carts and check out their orders. They also re-stocked shelves and helped the teachers carry boxes and bags to their vehicles.
Day 9 involved cleaning up and recycling at the Panthers game tailgates as volunteers from the Checkers, CheckMates and Husqvarna helped out with Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful's "Panther Tailgating" program.
Each of the volunteers strolled the parking lots and tailgating areas outside Bank of America Stadium passing out yellow recycling bags for fans to recycle their bottles, cans and cardboard, helping reduce the waste of tailgating and separate trash from recyclables.
After passing out the recycling bags, the volunteers rewarded a group of tailgaters and the parking lot attendant who were properly recycling with $25 Bojangles gift cards.
More than 2.8 tons of material was recycled and more than 900 yellow recycling bags were collected.
For more information on Mecklenburg County’s recycling programs, visit www.wipeoutwaster.com and click garbage/recycling.
On Day 8 of “15 Days of Giving,” 30 volunteers, including Husqvarna employees and their families, Checkers employees and fans, donated their time at two different community gardens – Irwin Creek and Sterling Elementary.
The volunteers cleaned up the community gardens, picked okra, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, created new garden beds and planted new crops. The food harvested was given to Friendship Trays, a meals-on-wheels program based in Mecklenburg County, which delivers more than 600 meals daily to people who are unable or greatly restricted in their ability to prepare or secure meals. Friendship Trays was also featured on Day 3 of our program (see below). For more information, visit www.friendshiptrays.org.
Blood donation was the theme for Day 7 of the Checkers’ and Husqvarna’s “15 Days of Giving” on Friday.
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Blood Mobile was stationed outside of Husqvarna’s corporate offices in Huntersville at Harris Corners Parkway Corporate Park. Approximately 35 donors visited the Blood Mobile, which included Husqvarna and Checkers employees and other members of the corporate park.
For making such a valuable contribution, each donor received one free Checkers ticket and a “Thank you for donating” t-shirt, courtesy of the Community Blood Centers of the Carolinas.
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas will hold a blood drive at the Checkers’ March 10 game against Chicago. Check back at www.gocheckers.com for more details as it gets closer.
On Day 6 of “15 Days of Giving,” 12 employees from the Checkers and Husqvarna volunteered for a morning shift at the Humane Society of Charlotte Shelter, cleaning the kennels and washing and walking the dogs prior to the shelter opening to the public.
The volunteers also played with and exercised the animals who are waiting to be adopted.
The Humane Society of Charlotte is a community resource committed to improving the lives of companion animals through adoption, spay/neuter and education and is the main beneficiary of the Checkers’ annual Pooch Party. October is “National Adopt-A-Dog Month” and more information on adopting a pet from the HSC can be found at www.humanesocietyofcharlotte.org.
On Day 5 of the Checkers' and Husqvarna's 15 Days of Giving program, Checkers players Nicolas Blanchard, Chris Durno, Mike Murphy, Bobby Sanguinetti, Justin Soryal and Brett Sutter, along with Husqvarna marketing communications manager Evin Ellis, spent the afternoon at Presbyterian Hemby Children's Hospital visiting with kids and delivering toys. Among the items given out was a toy chainsaw from Husqvarna and stuffed bears from the Checkers.
Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital is the sole beneficiary of the Checkers’ annual Teddy Bear Toss (Dec. 4) and the Hemby Cup charity game (Oct. 22). For more information on Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital, visit www.presbyterian.org.
On Day 4 of the Checkers’ and Husqvarna’s “15 Days of Giving” program, Checkers players Justin Krueger, Mike McKenzie, Rasmus Rissanen and Justin Shugg spent the evening with more than 60 youth hockey players at Extreme Ice Center.
The players, alongside their Checkers counterparts, worked on skating, stickhandling, passing and angling techniques and broke out into a scrimmage toward the end of practice. Before they hit the ice, the Checkers players spent some time in the dressing room talking hockey and what it took to get where they are as professionals.
For more information on youth hockey programs at Extreme Ice Center, visit www.xicenter.com or call 704-882-1830.
Day 3 of the Checkers and Husqvarna's "15 Days of Giving" saw 12 volunteers from both organizations lend a hand at Friendship Trays, a local non-profit meals on wheels program. Friendship Trays delivers more than 600 meals daily to elderly, handicapped and recovering people who are unable or greatly restricted in their ability to prepare or secure meals.
Throughout the morning, six volunteers created, packaged and labeled hundreds of meals while another team of six delivered the meals throughout Charlotte in the early afternoon.
“It was a really great experience,” said Checkers account executive Elle Bunn. “It was very rewarding knowing we were able to prepare more than 400 meals for those who were not able to prepare meals for themselves.”
“15 Days of Giving” will continue Tuesday as four Checkers players will visit several local youth hockey teams at Extreme Ice Center to help with practice and speak to the kids. Check back Wednesday for a recap, pictures and video.
In Day 2 of the Checkers’ and Husqvarna’s 15 Days of Giving, Chubby and the CheckMates paid a visit to the Justin Mychals Child Cancer Foundation benefit concert at T-Bones in Lake Wylie, S.C.
The ninth annual event included performances by local bands as well as an auction and donations to benefit the Kiser family from Rock Hill, S.C., whose son Dylan was diagnosed with Leukemia in December of last year.
The Checkers and Husqvarna each donated funds and items to be auctioned off, including an autographed stick, jersey and chainsaw, among others.
Since its inception in 2003, the event has raised more than $300,000 for nine different families.
Day 1 of the program Saturday saw 30 youth hockey players and parents take in a preseason game between the Checkers and Lake Erie Monsters at Extreme Ice Center.
Husqvarna donated 30 tickets, while Checkers goaltender Mike Murphy met with the players, members of the Charlotte Metro Hockey Association, to talk hockey.
In addition to the tickets and one-on-one session between Murphy and the players, the Checkers have dedicated several hours in the coming weeks to on-ice skills and character development as well as funds to help grow the sport in the area and introduce the game to undeserved participants.
This Community update is brought to you by Goodrich Corporation, who is a proud sponsor of all Checkers community initiatives. Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace, defense and homeland security markets. With 2007 revenues of $6.4 billion, Goodrich is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., and employs more than 24,000 people worldwide in approximately 90 facilities across 16 countries.