Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation hosted their annual Penguins Charity Night on Sunday, March 5 during the Penguins home game against the Buffalo Sabres, raising a record-setting total for the Penguins Foundation and Mario Lemieux Foundation thanks to the generous contributions of the team’s fan base.
Just over an hour before the contest, hundreds of fans lined up inside of PPG Paints Arena to lay claim to one of 600 Black Penguins Charity Duffel Bags available for $250. The Black Penguins Charity Duffel Bag included a chance to receive a signed Penguins jersey in addition to: a guaranteed signed puck, 50-year anniversary book and DVD, alumni bobblehead set, plush blanket celebrating the team’s four Stanley Cups and much more. In addition, 5,000 Black Penguins Charity Duffel Bags were available online to fans located outside of the Pittsburgh region.
Fans also jumped at the opportunity online to purchase the limited edition Gold Penguins Charity Duffel Bag for $1,000, which guaranteed a signed Penguins jersey and included the chance to win a Penguins Golden Ticket.
Between purchases at PPG Paints Arena and online, a total of 6,200 Penguins Charity Duffel Bags were sold just three minutes into the second period of the game.
“We want to thank each and every person who purchased a Penguins Charity Duffel Bag this season,” said Dave Soltesz, President of the Penguins Foundation. “These individuals are the driving force behind our mission and we are extremely grateful for their contributions.”
This was the largest total that the Penguins have raised in six seasons in partnership with ROOT Sports. The television broadcast and ROOT Sports on-air team provided invaluable exposure to both charities throughout the game, while encouraging fans to donate to these great causes.
All proceeds from the Charity Night will support the Penguins Foundation youth initiatives, such as the COOL Zone and STEAM Lending Library, along with Lemieux Foundation programs like Austin’s Playroom.
Of course, this event would not have been possible without volunteers from FedEx, who helped pack, organize and ship the Penguins Charity Duffel Bags prior to and following Sunday’s game.
“Our friends at FedEx deserve an unbelievable amount of credit for this initiative’s success,” Soltesz said. “With their help during the preparation and shipping process, the Charity Night ran as smoothly as it ever has.”
This season marked the first time that a Penguins Charity Duffel Bag was shipped to a buyer in each of the 50 states, which is a testament to the passion of the Penguins’ fan base.
“Our fans are just tremendous,” said Soltesz. “Both near and far, the Pittsburgh Penguins truly have the best fans in hockey.”