The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation hosted their 7th annual Penguins Charity Night on Saturday, March 3 during the Penguins home game against the New York Islanders, 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 and outside of PPG Paints Arena to lay claim to one of 450 Black Penguins Charity Duffel Bags available for $250. The Black Penguins Charity Duffel Bag included a chance to receive an autographed Penguins jersey in addition to: a guaranteed autographed puck, Back-to-Back Champions coffee table book, Back-to-Back Champions bobblehead set, 5X Champions hat and much more. In addition, 6,300 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 an autographed Penguins jersey plus all items included in the Black Penguins Charity Duffel Bag.
Between purchases at PPG Paints Arena and online, a total of 7,500+ Penguins Charity Duffel Bags were sold raising over $2.4 million for the Penguins Foundation and Lemieux Foundation.
This was the largest total raised in seven seasons in partnership with AT&T SportsNet (formerly ROOT Sports). The television broadcast and AT&T SportsNet on-air team provided invaluable exposure to both charities throughout the game, while encouraging fans to donate to these great causes.
“Wow, just wow. Thanks to our unbelievable fans, this season’s Penguins Charity Duffel Bags sold out in record time prior to the end of the 1st period,” said Dave Soltesz, President of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. “When you see the dollar total climbing that fast and that dramatically, it is overwhelming. We will be able to provide countless assists to the community and youth in our region from this season’s Penguins Charity Night sales.”
All proceeds from Penguins Charity Night will support the Penguins Foundation youth initiatives, including the H.O.P.E. program to combat opioid addiction and the Oneder program focused on helping children with special needs excel in the classroom. In addition, proceeds will support the Lemieux Foundation’s cancer research and patient care initiatives, as well as Austin’s Playrooms for children and families in medical facilities.
Of course, this event would not have been possible without volunteers from AT&T SportsNet, FedEx and World Vision, who helped pack and prepare the Penguins Charity Duffel Bags for shipping.
This season marked the second consecutive season that a Penguins Charity Duffel Bag will be shipped to a buyer in each of the 50 states, which is a testament to the passion of the Penguins’ fan base. In addition, Penguins Charity Duffel Bags will be shipped to 10 Canadian provinces.
“Without a doubt, we have the best fans in hockey,” said Soltesz. “We cannot thank them enough for their support, both near and far, for yet another record-setting Penguins Charity Night on AT&T SportsNet.”
About the Mario Lemieux Foundation: Created in 1993 by hockey legend Mario Lemieux, the Mario Lemieux Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and patient care, as well as Austin’s Playrooms, an initiative that creates playrooms for children and families in medical facilities. Since 1998, the Lemieux Foundation has given over $25 million to cancer research and patient care initiatives in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. Additionally, the Lemieux Foundation has opened 33 Austin’s Playrooms in western Pennsylvania as well as three military playrooms. To learn more, visit: www.mariolemieux.org
About the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation: Founded in 2010, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation is the 501c3 philanthropic hand of the Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. With the belief that “Kids Are The Future,” the Penguins Foundation focuses its efforts on making an impact on the lives of the littlest fans of the Penguins team and organization. Through programs related to the Penguins Foundation’s pillars of playing, growing, helping and learning, the Foundation has been able to make countless assists to the community in just a few short seasons including an overall contribution of $30 million to charitable causes since 2010. For more information, visit: www.pittsburghpenguinsfoundation.org