This marks the highest total in five seasons for the Checkers, who have now made $4.4 million in contributions since Michael Kahn took ownership of the team in 2006.
The Checkers held four successful game-worn jersey auctions during the season, beginning with December’s Carolina Football Night benefiting the Cam Newton Foundation that featured jerseys personally designed by the star quarterback ($17,000). The Checkers also wore purple jerseys as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Night benefiting the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage ($20,000), St. Patrick’s Day jerseys benefiting the Checkers Charitable Foundation ($25,000) and pink sweaters for their annual Pink in the Rink game presented by Novant Health that raised a total of $22,000 for various breast cancer charities.
The team again partnered with Verizon Wireless for the second season of the Pass it Forward program, in which Checkers players, staff, the CheckMates and Chubby surprised patrons at various locations around Charlotte with $10,000 worth of gift cards throughout the season.
This season also saw the continuation of several annual fundraisers including Tip-a-Checker at Pizza Peel, in which players served patrons and earned tips for charity, the Teddy Bear Toss, the Go Red for Women campaign, a Hockey Season’s Greetings dinner with the team and a Hockey and Heels event for women.
The Checkers also began a season-long partnership with CMPD’s Animal Care and Control that resulted in fans adopting more than 20 cats throughout the season, culminating with the team’s first-ever Pet Weekend (Caturday and the Pooch Party) in April.
The Checkers also continued several successful educational efforts including the Science of Hockey Program presented by Piedmont Natural Gas and the POWERPlay program presented by Novant Health. The team made nearly $100,000 worth of school grants throughout the season.
The team also made $89,000 worth of donations and generated $140,000 through in-game sales.
Since joining the league prior to the 2010-11 season, the Checkers have won the American Hockey League’s Excellence in Community Service award three times (2011, 2014, 2015).