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Panthers Continue to Give Back to South Florida Community

Monday, 11.6.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Panthers Continue to Give Back to South Florida Community

Panthers Foundation & Fan Development Create New Community Initiatives

SUNRISE, FL - The Florida Panthers Hockey Club had an extremely busy first month of the season, with both the Florida Panthers Foundation and the Fan Development Department having one of the most successful months in the history of the organization.

"We have had an extremely busy and productive first month of the season," V.P. of Community Development Randy Moller said. "We've rolled out many new initiatives including Stanley's incredibleKIDSCLUB, numerous player charity programs and will soon introduce the 50/50 chance drawing during home games. It's an exciting time for the Foundation, as we are committed to helping South Florida children and for Fan Development, as our initiatives continue to create new hockey fans here in South Florida."

The Florida Panthers Foundation has partnered with several Panthers players to create charity programs designed to expose children to the game of hockey. Olli Jokinen, Todd Bertuzzi, Mike Van Ryn, Chris Gratton and Ed Belfour have all formed their own charitable programs in which they will donate Panthers tickets to South Florida children's charities throughout the 2006-07 season. Each of the player's charities - Captain's Corner, Bertuzzi's Buddies, Rhino's Runts, Gratton's Gang and Eagle's Nest - are marked by hanging banners in the BankAtlantic Center's inner bowl.

The Florida Panthers Foundation donated more than $40,000 in October to such organizations as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, the Andy Roddick Foundation, the Transplant Foundation and Take Stock in Children.

The Foundation will also introduce the popular 50/50 Chance Drawing in the coming weeks. Before home games, fans will have the opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket and the lucky winner will walk away with half of the total proceeds from that night. In addition to those initiatives, the Florida Panthers Foundation has partnered with GameDay Auctions to auction off unique merchandise to benefit the Foundation. This year the Foundation kicked off their fundraising efforts with the Florida Panthers GameOn! Carnival on September 29, which was attended by more than 1,500 guests.

For more information about any of the player charities or the Panthers Foundation please contact Jean Marshall at (954) 835-7720 or marshallj@sselive.com.

In addition to Foundation initiatives, the Fan Development Department has developed more than 75 StreetCats Program Centers and has distributed street hockey equipment to each center. StreetCats Centers are open from Homestead in Miami-Dade County to Hobe Sound in West Palm Beach County, with the goal of exposing as many children as possible to the game of hockey. The Panthers are also partnering with the Parks and Recreation Department to promote the game of hockey throughout the South Florida community.

The Florida Panthers are also proud to announce the formation of Stanley's incredibleKIDSCLUB. This kids only club is open to children ages 12 and younger and will be offered this season at no cost. For application and benefit information, please see www.floridapanthers.com or email KidsClub@floridapanthers.com.

Stanley C. Panther also made 35 appearances in the month of October with highlights including the Boys & Girl's Club annual "Hollywood Welcomes the Stars" fundraiser for the Marti Huizenga Boys & Girls Club Unit in Hollywood, the inaugural "Baby Fair" at Temple B'nai Israel in Boca Raton and the Buddy Walk on Hollywood Beach which benefited children with Down Syndrome.

The Panthers will be unveiling new programs in the coming weeks including the re-launch of Panthers University, Coolest Bars and Watch Party Tour and member-exclusive events for Stanley's incredibleKIDSCLUB.

For more information on StreetCats Program Centers, Stanley's incredibleKIDSCLUB, Stanley C. Panther appearances or any other Fan Development initiatives, please contact Dave Arias at 954-835-7728 or ariasd@sselive.com.

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