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#CBJGives: Columbus Ice Hockey Club
Tuesday July 29, 2014

Imagine being given a stick and a pair of skates and not knowing ANYTHING about hockey. Sounds a little intimidating, right?

That’s why we’re proud to support the Columbus Ice Hockey Club (CIHC) - they help take the intimidation away from the game and creating an approachable atmosphere to hockey. Affiliated with the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone program, and Columbus Parks & Rec, CIHC provides ice skating and hockey instruction to minority at-risk youth ages 4-18. Affecting over 3000 Central Ohio youth, the club uses hockey to teach teamwork, camaraderie, self-esteems and leadership all as part of their core skills off-the-ice.

Our support helps the CIHC provide Try Hockey for Free Days, pond hockey, skating sessions and Learn to Play/Learn to Skate programs, as well as the creation of a girls hockey program. And they just might have introduced us to our favorite new stick handling drill. So fun!

We love seeing CIHC’s program grow and flourish and are so happy to call them grant partners.

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#CBJGives: Easter Seals of Central & Southeast Ohio
Monday July 28, 2014

We think every kids deserves the opportunity to play in their community, a mission we share with Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio.

Easter Seals promotes physical activity for kids with special needs and disabilities and gives them the opportunity to live, learn and work in their respected communities. One of the ways they achieves this is through our Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation Life Skills Center - a large indoor gym with a ballpit, basketball hoop, slide, climbing wall and, of course, a place to play indoor hockey.

Our support helps serve 2700 families in the Central Ohio area and helps Easter Seals expand their programming from camps during the summer to year-round activities.

It’s support we’re proud to offer - especially when you see the delight on kids faces when they have the opportunity to play.

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#CBJGives: Ohio Youth Hockey Association
Friday July 25, 2014

We’ve always said that as a foundation, we’re committed to supporting and growing the game of hockey regardless of ability to play. Some of our youth organizations we support help beginners, and then there’s some, like the Ohio Youth Hockey Association, that are actually teaching future NHLers.

The Ohio Youth Hockey Association, the parent organization for the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets, sets forth to provide an elite level of ice hockey for youth in Columbus. With the recent championship in the Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament, "the most important minor hockey tournament in the world", the AAA Blue Jackets provide the highest level of hockey for Columbus and Central Ohio youth.

Our funding helps the scholarship fund for the AAA Blue Jackets, assisting families of players in financial need, and helping to cover high travel and playing fees associations with elite hockey.

With proven success on the ice, we’re so proud to support the Ohio Youth Hockey Association.

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#CBJGives: After-School All-Stars
Thursday July 24, 2014

Because of YOU, this year we’re able to touch and partner with more organizations helping kids in the Central Ohio area.

One of those organizations is After-School All-Stars (ASAS), a group that offers free after-school programs in order to keep kids safe. After-School All-Star helps over 500 Kindergarten-8th graders in Columbus by providing engaging and empowering activities that continue purposeful learning after the school day has ended.

One of those activities is the Sports As A Hook program, which helps kids develop skills suck as teamwork, vision, discipline and respect through sports. We’re proud to help fund and participate in this program, as well as fund ASAS LiFE Sports curriculum, which betters that quality of sports programs available to challenged youth.

We can’t wait to share with you further all of the amazing partnerships we’ve created with After-School All-Stars this year!

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#CBJGives: Boy Scouts of America
Wednesday July 23, 2014

Raise your hands - how many of you were Boy Scouts growing up?

Hockey and Boy Scouts have a lot of character traits in common - dedication, respect, hard work - so it only makes sense that a further partnership was born, introducing scouts to hockey skills on the ice. That’s how Skate into Scouting was born.

Skate into Scouting is our partnership with the Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America that introduces scouts to the game of hockey and provides them an avenue for physical activity through skating at the Chiller Ice Rinks. Since 2008, over 25,915 scouts in Central Ohio have been introduced to the game and reciprocally, introduced to the benefits of of Boy Scouts membership.

"Thanks to the generosity of the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, the partnership has introduced thousands of youngsters to the sport of hockey and continues to reinforce our important, mutual belief: that encouraging youth to embrace physical activity and healthy habits will improve community wellness for years to come."

Scouting and skating - we like the sound of that.

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Loved spending the morning with Columbus Ice Hockey Club and Columbus Parks & Rec at their street hockey clinic at Brentnell Rec Center.

Great hands!

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#CBJGives: A Kid Again
Tuesday July 22, 2014

It’s moments like the picture above that help restore a kid’s healing and happiness when they’re sick. Moments that we’re proud to help create for our friends at A Kid Again.

Together we’ve partnered to create a Blue Jackets Adventure, a chance for kids to be kids at - where else? - a Blue Jackets game. Upon arrival at Nationwide Arena, we roll out the red carpet and are so happy to provide experiences from zamboni rides, to bench warming - and of course a Stinger visit - all during the game.

Here’s just a little bit of what our friends shared with us about the experience:

"The Blue Jackets Adventures continues to have a very high percentage of attendance and, not surprisingly, our families LOVE their Columbus Blue Jackets. [You] help us to provide Hope, Happiness, and Healing for our families raising kids with life-threatening illnesses!"

You can see why we love supporting groups like these - and we look forward to their visits year after year. Thanks A Kid Again!

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#CBJGives: CCYHA Special Hockey
Monday July 21, 2014

CCYHA Blue Jackets Special Hockey - Skating at Nationwide Arena! Feb. 1, 2014 from Dave Weissman on Vimeo.

One of the things we love most about hockey is it’s inclusiveness, welcoming all abilities and age levels to the game regardless of your ability to play.

It’s the reason we love giving clinics to all ages and abilities, visiting all areas of the state, and supporting organizations like CCYHA Special Hockey.

CCYHA Special Hockey is an organization committed to providing the game of ice hockey to kids with developmental disabilities. Affiliated with the American Special Hockey Association, they allow athletes of different mental and physical abilities to play, and make the program affordable for kids who wish to be a part of it.

Team manager Chris Wenzke specifically mentions alleviating the financial burden for special needs families:

"The assistance we receive from the Foundation keeps our program affordable so we can attract many families with special needs kids to the program."

Our shared commitment to growing the game seems to be working - Special Hockey has expanded their Learn-to-Skate sessions to attract new players to the program and expanded their schedules to play in three ASHA tournaments this past season.

Giving all kids the chance to play the game we love - you can see why we’re so happy to support this organization.

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#CBJGives: Flying Horse Farms
Friday July 18, 2014

The positivity, exuberance, excitement and unrelenting compassion that radiates from Flying Horse Farms makes every camper, volunteer and staff member feel a sense of appreciation, a sense of family, a sense of belonging when they’re at camp. After experiencing it ourselves firsthand, its the reason we love supporting this great organization.

Flying Horse Farms allows kids with various medical conditions, cancer, asthma, heart and kidney disease, to experience the age old past-time of summer camp and most importantly, to just be kids. Kids get to experience activities ranging from boating to sports, archery to ropes courses, and maybe even a game of ball hockey on the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation Sport Court, all activities that help them heal through distraction, and participate in activities they never thought possible.

The most symbolic aspect of Flying Horse Farms is the “hole in the wall” - the entrance to camp, and once a camper passes through, they leave behind the stresses and worries that might face on a daily basis.

Because camp is free for all kids regardless of their ability to pay, we’re thrilled to provide support to Flying Horse Farms for their programming. After all, the true magic of camp, is all of the friendships and possibilities it creates that last a lifetime.

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Thursday July 17, 2014

Sometimes it’s hard to get kids to brush their teeth.

But mix together one part Stinger + a giant toothbrush + a school assembly and you’ve got a recipe to teach kids the importance of dental health. Oh, and maybe have a good time too.

KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic does exactly this, visiting over 15 elementary schools over the past three years to educate kids on good dental hygiene. In addition to a visit from Stinger, kids get a goody bag of dental supplies, a brushing timer, dental health tips and a Stinger coloring page.

But KidSMILES also takes it one step further, administering $10 dental appointments to Columbus-area kids in need at their new clinic, which opened last summer.

That’s why we’re proud to be a founding organization for the program. Anytime we can keep kids healthy in a fun an interactive way, we love to be a part of.

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