By Randy De Meno
How did computer geeks playing ice hockey raise $1.8 million for children’s charities? Over the past 19 years, Commvault has played hockey and raised funds with our customers and charitable partners, including Microsoft, Arrosoft Solutions, Insight, Tech Data, Shop-Rite and D&M Auto Body, plus a few celebrities along the way.
Our most recent event, benefiting the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) in Phoenix, Ariz., even drew television coverage by FOX Sports.
Giving back to children – one goal at a time
The money we raise for the various charities is only one satisfying aspect to these events. Another is the opportunity to take the ice in an NHL arena on game day. At every event, we share the ice with representatives of the charities we’ve been lucky to meet and work with over the years. I still get chills for being fortunate enough to learn from these children, and the special people working with them through the charities they represent.
19 years of raising funds for children’s charities
What started out in Madison Square Garden in 2001, and included families affected by 9/11, has grown into an annual phenomenon across 10 NHL cities, helping various Autism charities we have been privileged to work with and now consider family. Our most recent events benefiting the Columbus Chill Youth Hockey Association (CCYHA), Hendrickson’s Foundation , the Autism Society of Minnesota and the SARRC took our breath away by how much their young hockey players have improved over the past few years.
We’ve been blessed to have had so many NHL Alumni and U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey players participate in our events. The fondest memory we all share is from the CCYHA event at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Two young girls participated in that event. One girl shed unabashed tears of joy because she got to meet, talk to and take pictures with Team USA Olympic Silver Medalist Lisa Chesson; while the other, having never put on a pair of skates, asked her mom to take her to “Intro to Ice Hockey” sessions after learning of Lisa’s Olympic experiences, making her that little girl’s new role model.
We look forward to another year of skating, fundraising and fun, and hope you’ll attend an event near you!