It’s January in Connecticut—that wonderful time of year when snowy forecasts and football seem to dominate the headlines and the dinner table conversation, at least in my house anyway. One local organization is capitalizing on the buzz and excitement of the upcoming Super Bowl to encourage youngsters and their families here in Fairfield County to reach out to those in need in a small, but powerful, way.
On Saturday Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl, the Sound Tigers Hockey Team will be participating once again in the national Souper Bowl of Caring program. For more than 20 years, the Souper Bowl of Caring has been energizing youth to collect food and donations for those less fortunate across the country. To date, the program has raised more than $80 million dollars and collected millions of pounds of food nationwide.
At the Sound Tigers Souper Bowl of Caring Night, representatives from nonprofit agencies, youth groups and churches around the area will be on hand to collect donations to support local food banks and shelters. The team is also asking fans to bring a food item to donate to one of the several distribution centers here in our region.
If you can't make the game, donations can be made to any of the churches who are participating in the event. These locations are St. Stephens in Trumbull, St. Thomas in Norwalk, in Norwalk, Masters Table in Shelton, in Westport, in Fairfield, and New Faith Baptist Church in New Fairfield. Also, anyone who brings three canned goods to the game on Feb. 4 will receive a free ticket to the Sound Tigers game on Feb. 20.
At Fairfield County-based VolunteerSquare.com, we always love to see people and organizations in the public eye take an active interest in giving back to the community and the Sound Tigers don’t just talk the talk, they actually walk the walk.
The upcoming Souper Bowl of Caring isn’t just a one-time, token “do-good” event either. Last weekend, I had the good fortune to attend the team’s Pink Rink event—a game devoted to raising awareness and funding for breast cancer. There is something incredibly endearing seeing grown men, and Storm, the team’s mascot, flying around the ice in hot pink jerseys in solidarity with the women and families affected by the nasty disease.
The organization’s commitment to community service and support is a philosophy that truly comes from the top down. Howard Saffan, president of Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment, LLC, which operates the Sound Tigers and Webster Bank Arena, says they are committed to being a positive force in the community.
“Hundreds of thousands of people come through our doors every year for Sound Tigers hockey games, family shows like Disney On Ice, Fairfield University basketball games and concerts,” said Saffan. “Being part of the community means giving back to the community. Our Paws For A Cause initiative is raising thousands of dollars for St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services in Trumbull and support Hockey for Heroes. We are totally dedicated to helping improve local communities and organizations.”
The donations collected at the Souper Bowl of Caring will go to support a number of local organizations. in Trumbull and in Norwalk will receive some donations for their food banks. New Faith Church in New Fairfield will donate to the New Fairfield Senior Center Food Bank. All the remaining donations will be given to Masters Table in Shelton. The Sound Tigers are also looking for volunteers to help them collect, sort and distribute the donations at the game. If you’re interested in helping out, contact Stephen Mulvey at (203)345-4857 or Stephen.Mulvey@harboryardse.com.
The game is Saturday Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. so go cheer for the Sound Tigers and support a very worthy cause! For more, visit the Sound Tigers website at http://soundtigers.com. To learn more about how you can get involved in community outreach programs throughout the year, visit our website, www.volunteersquare.com.
Editor's note: This blog post was updaed by the author at 3:49 p.m. Wednesday. (A paragraph on locations where donations can be made was added).