WILD REACHES $1.2 MILLION IN CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS DURING FIRST FIVE YEARS IN CENTRAL IOWAMay 30, 2018
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa Wild proudly announced today that following the completion of its fifth season, the organization has raised more than $1.2 million for the Des Moines community. The Wild held more than 250 community events during the 2017-18 season, the most in a single year in its five seasons.
“Hockey has given so much to our players and our staff during the past five years, and it’s really important for us to repay that by giving back to our community,” said Allie Brown, Director of Marketing and Creative Services.
One of the many marquee events this season was Hockey Days Iowa, the largest outdoor hockey event in Iowa history. On January 13-14, 2018, Iowa Wild, in collaboration with Iowa Corn, constructed four pond hockey rinks in the middle of a cornfield at North River Adventures in Carlisle, Iowa. More than 40 teams and 300 players of all ages participated in the two-day event, which will become a staple event for the Wild every season.
Another significant community initiative during the season was the Junior Crash Course, presented by West Bend Insurance. The learn-to-play program was created to help children throughout the central Iowa region learn how to skate and play hockey at absolutely no cost. Fifty children participated in the program, which lasted six sessions throughout September and October.
During the season, the Wild held various theme nights designed to highlight different members of the hockey and Iowa community. On Veterans Appreciation Night in November, the Wild wore specialty jerseys honoring those who have served. In February, the team held its annual Pink in the Rink game, where the organization honored those who have battled breast cancer at the game. Prior to the Pink in the Rink game, players met with breast cancer survivors and warriors to hear their stories and learn more about the fight against breast cancer.
Prior to Make-A-Wish Night, Iowa Wild invited Adam, a Make-A-Wish recipient, out to a practice in March. He received a tour of the facilities, met with the coaching staff and players, and left the rink with multiple autographed memorabilia. On game day, Adam delivered a pregame speech to the team.
Iowa Wild wore three specialty jerseys this season, one each for Veterans Appreciation Night, benefitting ALS Association, Iowa Chapter, Pink in the Rink Night, benefitting Susan G. Komen of Greater Iowa, and Make-A-Wish Night (St. Patrick’s Day). Following each game, there was a jersey auction to benefit each game’s respective non-profit.
"Our theme nights and jersey auctions are wonderful ways to raise awareness about causes that we as an organization are passionate about,” Brown said. “We are lucky to have a platform that can reach a large number of people in a unique, unforgettable way."
When the Wild hosted Military Appreciation Night in January, the Iowa National Guard rappelled from the Wells Fargo Arena ceiling and the team honored all branches of the military at the game. Prior to Local Heroes Night, members of the Wild spent a day with West Des Moines Fire Department to gain an understanding of what it was like to be a firefighter.
In March, following the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy, Iowa held silent auctions at its final home games while also holding a moment of silence and tributes to the team on the concourse. It was one of just many tributes throughout the hockey community.
The Wild’s charitable contributions continued outside of game nights. The entire team participated in Tame the Hunger, an event during which staff, players, sponsors and members of the community gathered to package and distribute more than 28,000 meals for Central Iowan children, elderly and families in need.
Other key community initiatives included donating onesies to newborns at Mercy Hospital the week of Opening Night, the construction of free community rinks donated by Iowa Wild and Wells Fargo, the annual Teddy Bear Toss game and donation of stuffed animals to the Mercy Pediatrics Unit. The team also had a booth at the Iowa State Fair for the first time in the organization’s history.
Throughout the course of the season, the Wild teamed up with Hy-Vee for the Wild About Reading program, encouraging students to read daily. Members of the Wild organization visited schools to read to students as part of the initiative. The Wild also held its Healthy Living Floor Hockey program, presented by Atlantic Bottling Company and Amerigroup, in schools throughout the area, which teaches students about the game of hockey along with encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle.
Through the team’s various community events and charitable contributions, Iowa Wild raised more than $360,000 for the Central Iowa region throughout the 2017-18 season alone.
The Iowa Wild 2018-19 season is presented by Mercy Medical Center and runs from October through April. For more information, please contact the Wild office by calling 515-564-8700 or by visiting www.iowawild.com.