Each MLL team has planned a charitable initiative as well in which they will use their popularity and support from their fans and local communities to provide aid to many causes.
The Hamilton Nationals hosted a Pen Pal gathering at their home opener on Friday, May 18 th against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The Nationals played in front of a Hamilton crowd record of 3,751 fans in an effort to bring children from various local communities together. During the early afternoon game, Hamilton accommodated nearly 2,000 kids involved in the Pen Pal program and provided each of them with Nationals colored shirts.
"When we learned of the Pen Pal program several months ago, we saw it as a natural fit for our team. As we have a number of players from both the native and non-native communities,” said Nationals Director of Marketing and Sponsorship Stu Brown. “Our players and management have a great deal of respect for both cultures and communities and wanted to be a part of something we felt was having a positive influence on thousands of kids across Ontario.”
Last week, the Boston Cannons hosted a March of Dimes game against the Long Island Lizards in which the Cannons wore specially-designed pink and purple jerseys. After the game, the players autographed their March of Dimes jerseys which are currently being auctioned off on eBay. The bidding opened at $100 with all proceeds going to the March of Dimes Foundation which works to improve the health of new-born babies. Bidding will conclude on Tuesday, June 19 th at noon. You can get involved in the auction by clicking here.
“We are excited to partner with March of Dimes this year,” says Cannons GM Kevin Barney. “They do tremendous work in the greater Boston area in research, support programs and education dealing with preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortality.”
Similar to the Cannons, the Chesapeake Bayhawks are partnering with a charity and are auctioning off game-worn gear. The Bayhawks are holding Breast Cancer Awareness Night during their Week 8 match-up with the Boston Cannons on June 23 rd. All Bayhawks players will be wearing custom pink helmets and will autograph them after the game. The helmets will be available through auctions on eBay in the following week. This will be the third season the Bayhawks have run this initiative and in the past two years, they have raised nearly $20,000 for two local breast cancer organizations.
The Denver Outlaws have scheduled a “Heroes Night” for their July 14 th home match-up against the expansion Charlotte Hounds. The Outlaws will honor military personnel, police, firefighters and all other emergency service providers. Players will be wearing camouflage jerseys that they will sign and auction off after the game. All money that is raised will go to the Veteran’s Passport to Hope event on October 4 th which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. The WWP offers programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between their active duty in the military and transition to civilian life.
“Our organization is proud and honored to host this game as ‘Heroes Night,’” says Outlaws Director of Marketing Ted Tseng. “It provides us with a great opportunity to recognize all the men and women who give their lives to keep us free and safe.”
Major League Lacrosse appreciates the support from all fans in an effort to improve lives in our communities. Be sure to continue to assist the HEADstrong Foundation by getting involved in the online auctions for game-worn, autographed All-Star game jerseys. The auctions will be held on MajorLeagueLacrosse.com beginning Saturday, June 30 th at noon ET with all net proceeds being donated to the HEADstrong Foundation.