The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Mario Lemieux Foundation hosted their 8th annual Penguins Charity Night on AT&T SportsNet on Saturday, March 16 during the Penguins home game against the St. Louis Blues, raising a record-setting total of $2.8 million for the Penguins Foundation and Lemieux Foundation, thanks to the generous contributions from the team’s fan base.
Prior to the afternoon contest, hundreds of fans lined up outside of PPG Paints Arena to buy one of 400 Black Penguins Charity Bags available for $250. The Black Penguins Charity Bag included a chance to receive an autographed Penguins third jersey in addition to: a guaranteed autographed puck, bobblehead set, hat, t-shirt and much more. In addition, 6,700 Black Penguins Charity 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 Bag for $1,000, which guaranteed an autographed Penguins third jersey plus all items included in the Black Penguins Charity Bag.
Between purchases at PPG Paints Arena and online, a total of 8,100+ Penguins Charity Bags were sold raising over $2.8 million for the Penguins Foundation and Lemieux Foundation.
This was the largest total raised in eight seasons in partnership with AT&T SportsNet. 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.
“Not only was this our biggest fundraiser in our Foundation’s history, but also it was the fastest that our Penguins Charity Bags have sold out,” said Dave Soltesz, President of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. “The attention given to this day by AT&T SportsNet drew such strong fan interest in our two charities. Our fans wanted to give back and support us. And, in just 80 minutes, 8,100 Penguins Charity Bags had disappeared. Our fans are incredible.”
All proceeds from Penguins Charity Night will support the Penguins Foundation youth and special needs initiatives, including the Project Power Play program, which builds dek hockey rinks in the region, and player programs focused on assisting kids in Western Pennsylvania. 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 Bags for shipping.
This season marked the third consecutive season that a Penguins Charity 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 Bags will be shipped to 10 Canadian provinces.
“We are fortunate to have the number one fan base in the NHL. Without our fans, both near and far, we would not be able to impact our region in the unbelievable way that we can. We thank you.”