The Charlotte Checkers – More than just a great hockey team

Zac Dalpe scored the game winning goal.  Charlotte beat the San Antonio Rampage 2-1. (Photo - J. Propst)

Zac Dalpe scored the game winning goal. Charlotte beat the San Antonio Rampage 2-1. (Photo – J. Propst)

Instead of recapping the game and goal scorers (Michal Jordan and Zac Dalpe, in case you missed it) I thought I’d talk about something so much more important in the big picture, and that’s the Checkers Charitable Foundation, and even beyond that, the things individual members of the organization do to make the entire Charlotte community a better place to live.

21,500 people saw the Checkers play this weekend, and by my math, they raised and gave away over  $50K during the two games. (Heck, the jersey auction alone raised $16,175!)

Last night at the Pink in the Rink game, even more than the money they raised, the team raised awareness for women’s health initiatives and organizations, all of which do amazing things to improve the lives of women and the unique health risks they have.  Then, even

Brett Sutter is fierce. (Photo - J. Propst)

Brett Sutter is fierce. (Photo – J. Propst)

more incredibly, Michael Kahn presented a check from his own personal foundation to Go Jen Go which from all I’ve read (and heard about during the 2013 Laugh for the Cure event), is an amazing organization.   That Mr. Kahn felt so passionate about this cause to donate is impressive, and makes me proud to be a fan of the team he owns.

Today, I watched a video on the video board with a great sense of pride during the first intermission about Tera Black’s participation in North Carolina Dance Theatre’s “Dancing with the stars of Charlotte” gala later in this month. You see, I’ve worked with NCDT for many, many years, and they are hands down the most incredible arts organization in this city.  The work they create on a pretty miniscule budget is truly first class and a huge cultural asset to the city, so to see my favorite ballet company partnering with my favorite hockey team is pretty special.  Tera will be dancing with Addul Manzano who has been with the company for seven years, and during that time I’ve seen him in some pretty incredible performances.  I’m telling you…. The Charlotte Checkers and the North Carolina Dance Theatre have the most amazingly talented athletes in all of Charlotte.   I will be at the event later this month, and can’t wait to see the moves Addul has taught Tera!

I'm going to admit it openly. Jared Staal might have been my favorite player today. It's like... he's growing into his name! Go Staal Go! (Photo - J. Propst)

I’m going to admit it openly. Jared Staal might have been my favorite player today. It’s like… he’s growing into his name! Go Staal Go! (Photo – J. Propst)

Every game it seems, Checkers fans learn of another amazing group or person they’ve helped through their foundation.  From buying Bug’s family a house, to Wheels For Forrest  to Go Jen Go and the North Carolina Dance Theatre, there are great things at work on the part of the Charlotte Checkers.  I read a tweet tonight from another AHL team who was excited to have raised $2400 for a charity event tonight.  That’s wonderful, and I’m so glad other teams make charitable initiatives a big part of their team, but when I see what the Checkers did this weekend alone, I’m just amazed and proud.  This is a great team we have in Charlotte, and I’m so glad they give back to the community as much as they do.

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