The Nashville Predators Foundation distributed 113 grants, totaling $405,000 to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations, during a ceremony at Bridgestone Arena. The day was also highlighted by a fun-filled afternoon of on-ice activities and tours and appearances by Goaltender Pekka Rinne and mascot Gnash.
This announcement marks the 15th grant distribution by the Predators Foundation. Since its 1998 inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $3.5 million in financial grants to Nashville and Middle Tennessee community service and charitable organizations. Between the grants and other charitable donations, such as player ticket programs and fund-raising efforts, the Foundation put more than $1 million back into the community during the 2012-13 season.
“To raise a record $405,000 for local charities in a shortened season is a true testament to our fans, players and staff,” Nashville Predators President and Chief Operating Officer Sean Henry said. “Without their dedication and loyalty to our annual events, this largest donation in franchise history would not be possible. Thanks to the support and generosity of Smashville, youth from Middle Tennessee and across the state will continue to benefit from the funding that the Nashville Predators put back into the community each and every season.”
Upon reviewing nearly 250 grant applications, and keeping consistent with the Foundation’s mission, the grant committee selected programs that will primarily benefit youth and families. Of 113 total charities, 36 were outside of the Nashville area.
Each year the Predators choose four organizations to serve as featured charities for the season. In addition to financial grants, the Predators Foundation provides these featured charities with organizational visits by players and Preds personalities as well as added exposure, awareness and visibility for the charity. The featured charities for the 2013-14 season are Bridges, formerly League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; GraceWorks; Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County; and Nurses for Newborns. The grant money will benefit local youth in many ways, such as:
- Cumberland Valley Arc, Inc – Funding will benefit Project 22, a program that will enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing, training and social activities and by promoting volunteer work in the community.
- The Land Trust for Tennessee – Funding will grow its program of Harvest and History Field Trips, targeting Nashville area elementary classes through 2013.
- Nashville Youth Hockey League – Funding will purchase up to 100 sets of One Goal Starter Equipment and related hockey items, such as sticks and jerseys, to offer either free or nearly free Learn To Play program as a transition from the G.O.A.L. program
- STARS – Funding will provide educational character development puppet presentations to all elementary schools located on post at Fort Campbell.
Established in September 1998, the Predators Foundation strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. All 501(c)3 organizations in Middle Tennessee are eligible to receive grants, which are distributed once a year. Annual grant applications were received by mid-February for consideration. Additionally, the Nashville Predators have donated more than $400,000 to the Nashville Predators Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt over the past three years, with another donation slated for this summer.
Breakdown of grant amounts by year are as follows:
1999 - $145,927
2000 - $250,850
2001 - $226,048
2002 - $211,729
2003 - $154,980
2004 - $146,040
2005 - $54,152
2006 - $149,348
2007 - $240,110
2008 - $250,524
2009 - $260,000
2010 - $305,000
2011 - $325,059
2012 - $350,269
2013 - $405,000
Kudos the to the Predators for their continued involvement and commitment to our community, and to the Predator fans who support the team and help make these gifts possible.