Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Even Without Hockey, Predators Keep Making an Impact

Even though the NHL has taken a hiatus, that doesn't mean that the Nashville Predators have stopped being deeply involved in our community. The organization continues to make an impact in the lives of middle Tennesseans through numerous outreach efforts and by just being a good citizen.

As most of you know the Predators brought the entire game experience to a house league Pee Wee game at A-Game Ice Rinks in Franklin. You can watch the video of the Smash Mob here.

The event may appear on the surface to be just a fun gathering of Predator fans with nothing to do, but have no doubt that these young players and their families were positively impacted by the support of the Predators and their fans.

While the activities centered around the ice are fun and provide a positive experience to young hockey participants, the Predators continue to to impact lives that are far away from the hockey rink. The DNA of the organization has the team and its charitable foundation focused on the needs of those that are less fortunate and need a boost.

Today, the Predators Foundation and members of the front office and coaching staff delivered turkeys and food baskets to families at 9 organizations around the area. I caught up with several of the Predators at Community Child Care in Franklin.

Some of the sacks of food prepared by the Predators that were being delivered to Community Child Care Center. Along with the food sacks, each family also received a whole turkey.

In the foreground is the Director of the Predators Foundation, Rebecca King. It is not just the Predators Foundation that gets involved with these worthwhile activities, however. Joining Rebecca at this location were Predators Special Assistant Brent Peterson and Strength and Conditioning Coach David Good.

Gnash was there to make a grand entrance as well.

Gnash was there to entertain the kindergarten class and...

once they warmed up to him, the children had a great time with Gnash, Coach Peterson, and Craig "Partner" Baugh

Community Child Care was established in 1971 to serve the needs of the low income community in Franklin by providing a safe and nurturing environment. Currently, Community Childcare has 73 children enrolled , all from families that receive some form of public assistance.

The Predators "Partner" Baugh, Community Child Care Directors Matthew Cochran and David Praet, Gnash, Predators Special Assistant Brent Peterson, and Community Child Care Board Chairman Mark Blake.

Two very disparate events, yet two similar outcomes. Lives impacted by by an organization that has shown time and again its commitment to making a difference in our community. Young hockey players that were awed at a spontaneous show of support. Families that without this generosity would have been wanting in this time of celebration. Both groups touched and lives positively impacted by the Predators.

Yes, hockey as a game has frustrated many fans because we don't get to see our game, the sport we love, on the ice.

Yet the Predators organization has shown that they recognize that life and its needs do not stop even when their sport has.

And for that, we in Nashville are thankful.

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