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#CBJGives: Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Thursday August 7, 2014

On our last day of #CBJGives profiles, we thought we would highlight one of our strongest partnerships, our friends at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

It starts with the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation Family Resource Center, a place of comfort for families at the hospital, providing the warmth of home with a lounge, kitchen, laundry and play area, and maybe a little hockey fun as well. (Our Hats for Heroes showcase is the picture above).

Our partnership continues with bike helmets, a joint venture that rewards kids for riding their bikes with their helmet on in their neighborhood, a special ceremony recognizing their safety. A brand new Blue Jackets Foundation branded helmet awaits them at the ceremony - and a hug from that lovable bug, Stinger.

Our partnership wouldn’t be complete without our regular patients visits - they’re the highlight of not only a kid’s day, but also our players.

We love our friends at Nationwide Children’s - they really are our best friends.

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#CBJGives: Ohio Sled Hockey
Wednesday August 6, 2014

The coolest thing about hockey is the way kids of all abilities and sizes find a way to play the game. And what is cooler than playing hockey on a sled?

Ohio Sled Hockey is dedicated to providing individuals with physically disabilities an avenue to participate in a competitive sport setting of sled hockey. Further, the program provides an opportunity for the development of qualities and values learned in sport to be carried over to the daily life of an individual and athlete with a disability.

We love to support Sled Hockey in a variety of ways, whether it’s helping them get to this year’s NHL Sled Classic in Pittsburgh, alleviating the cost of equipment, and of course, being their number one cheerleaders.

Any program that helps to grow the experience of ice hockey and ultimately will break down the physical barriers to the game is a program that we want to be a part of - and we’re so happy to do so.

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#CBJGives: Youth Hockey Grants
Tuesday August 5, 2014

Sometimes while playing the game that we love it becomes expensive to stay protected and educated about the game of ice hockey. We’re happy to help support CCYHA, EYHA, One Goal Association, and other local youth hockey programs in giving all kids the opportunity to play the game of ice hockey.

The Columbus Chill Youth Hockey Association (CCYHA) is committed to the development of youth ice hockey players in central Ohio. CCYHA offers various hockey programs for youth to high school players, including both girls and boys teams. Through a financially stable and educational environment, CCYHA provides a first class hockey experience for all youth players.

While girls’ hockey is becoming more prominent in the central Ohio area, CCYHA is devoted to growing this aspect of their organization and program. Through our support, CCYHA provides a hockey experience for girls’ that is filled with encouraging support, instructional hockey guidance, community sponsorship, training for coaches, and activities to create a more stabilized program in order to grow the game. The CCYHA girls’ hockey program has nearly doubled within the past year with now having 75+ participants in the program and we’re happy to assist CCYHA in developing a sustainable and supportive girls’ hockey program in order to give the full hockey experience to female athletes in the Columbus-area.

Our continuing support of the Easton Youth Hockey Association allows for all participants to reach their fullest potential by having love and respect for the game of ice hockey. EYHA is devoted to helping kids learn the skills of ice hockey while also developing characteristics of sportsmanship, commitment, leadership, and teamwork. This past year we were able to offer 30+ players with full and partial scholarships. Here at our foundation, we love providing the opportunity to grow the game to those that may not have the resources to take the ice.

Finally, our partnership with One Goal Association provides ice hockey equipment starter sets for new players. The purchase of equipment and playing fees can become expensive for a first-time ice hockey player, but through our support of One Goal Association, we are able to provide new ice hockey families the opportunity to play the game without having to purchase new equipment.

We are grateful to make the game of ice hockey accessible to all kids and we are looking forward to continuing these partnerships with youth hockey associations in coming seasons.

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#CBJGives: Make-A-Wish Foundation
Monday August 4, 2014

You might say that some of the work we do with our pediatric cancer heroes is similar to work that the Make-A-Wish Foundation does, specifically providing opportunities for kids with pediatric cancer and their families to heal through distraction.

So it only makes sense to partner with Make-A-Wish then, right?

We’re proud to announce Make-A-Wish as a new partner of ours, helping to off-set travel and other expenses for families with kids with life-threatening conditions. Our own pediatric cancer heroes often take these trips-of-a-lifetime, and we couldn’t be happier to support. Plus hearing feedback like this from Make-A-Wish, gives us the feels all over again:

While our mission is to grant the wishes of kids with life-threatening medical conditions, our impact goes well beyond making a single wish come true. In fact, most adult former wish kids say they felt stronger because of their wish. Through the wish process, families feel “normal” again by focusing on something other than treatments.

Bringing a little bit of normal back to our heroes - we like the sound of that.

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#CBJGives: Westgate Playground
Friday August 1, 2014

Remember last summer when we built this awesome hockey themed playground? Even the guys at Puck Daddy thought it was cool.

Well, guest what? We’re building another one!

Coming this September, we’ll be transforming an area of Westgate Park with a Blue Jackets-themed playground. It’ll be the icing on the cake for the park, as the park is already renovating their recreation center.

We’ll be partnering again with our friends at Columbus Parks & Rec and the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association - you can see the mock-up of the new playground above.

We’re so excited to give the kids at Westgate a hockey-themed place to play and can’t wait for it’s completion.

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#CBJGives: YMCA of Central Ohio
Thursday July 31, 2014

We think it’s safe to say that we love the game of hockey and we’re pretty sure that you do as well.

That’s why we’re excited to announce a new partnership today, one with the YMCA of Central Ohio, to enhance and improve the street hockey programs they provide at their centers around Central Ohio.

The YMCA’s program gives over 400 kids the opportunity to build respect and love the sport, fans, players and referees. Further, it educates parents and kids on healthy competition and the safety and rules of street hockey. We think it’s best to let them explain just how awesome this opportunity is:

"YMCA Street Hockey is an opportunity for young children and young adults to become physically active through exercise on a regular basis. Children will learn the skills, fundamentals and safety of the game. Character development will occur among kids, young adults and their parents [and] the program will elevate love and respect of the game."

In addition to our partnership helping to host street hockey classes at your local Y, our help will also hire and train YMCA staff and support the purchase of new equipment as well.

Growing the game - we love the sound of that.

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#CBJGives: The Childhood League Center
Wednesday July 30, 2014

Do you remember the days when it was just you and your tricycle (or big wheel!) ready to hit the open road? You know, the open road that was the neighborhood block. ;)

It turns out sometimes the tricycle is more than just a way to cruise around, it can also be used for physical therapy and activities for kids with special needs and developmental delays. That’s what our partnership with The Childhood League is all about.

The Childhood League Center offers an environment to supports the growth of kids and families by fostering values of self-worth and confidence. They shared with us:

“We know that movement matters to brain development and for the physical development of healthy and strong bodies. We also know that movement matters to the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation as physical activity and play are essential to the Foundation’s mission.”

They’re right that physical activity and play are important to us, which is why we’re happy to help them purchase 11 hand-powered tricycles, 4 scooting tricycles and 13 pedal-powered tricycles and assist in funding the physical therapy program.

After all, helping any kid get out and play, is just a fun as cruising the open road.

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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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