‘Tis the season of giving — Thanksgiving, to be specific, at least until the madness that is Black Friday begins — and the Griffins are asking all fans to consider giving generously to at least one of several fantastic causes that they’re supporting this holiday season. From soup cans to teddy bears, toys to moustaches, and bracelets to dining experiences, the team is making it fun and rewarding to give to some very deserving individuals and organizations.
Dinner With a Griffin – As a benefit for the family of fallen Walker Police Officer Trevor Slot, the Griffins are offering fans the chance to “Win Dinner with a Griffin,” an all-expenses-paid experience with two Griffins players at a downtown restaurant. During all November home games, fans can visit the Griffins Booster Club table on the Van Andel Arena concourse to purchase a $10 raffle ticket for a chance to win either of two unique dining experiences that will be awarded through separate raffles:
• Dinner for two with defensemen Greg Amadio and Doug Janik at Leo’s Restaurant on Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m., or;
• Dinner for two with forwards Mitch Callahan and Tomas Tatar at Big O’ Café on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
The winning tickets will be drawn on Dec. 2 and the winners notified on Dec. 3. Thanks to generous donors who are paying for the meals, all proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will go directly to the family of Officer Slot, who was killed on the line of duty on Oct. 13 and is survived by his wife, Kim, and their two daughters, Katelyn and Abigail. To date, more than 120 raffle tickets have been sold.
A Movember to Remember – Griffins defenseman Greg Amadio and right wing Mitch Callahan have been going face-to-face in a month-long Movember moustache battle to help raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.
The two have joined numerous hockey players and thousands of men around the world in foregoing their clean-shaven ways, attempting instead to nurture a stylish moustache throughout November. And while the hirsute Amadio all but locked up victory over the fresh-faced Callahan on day 1 of that competition, he’s had to rally past the impressive rookie in their Internet fundraising battle.
Callahan, who was inspired to participate after his grandpa was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, jumped out to an early lead of several hundred dollars over Amadio and currently stands at $535. Not too shabby. But it’s been all Amadio over the last week, as the veteran is now at $910 and counting. Let’s not split hairs, though…both players have been fantastic in their support of this cause.
Teddy Bear Toss – The annual tradition returns to Van Andel Arena this Friday when the Griffins take on the Oklahoma City Barons. Bring a new store-tagged teddy bear or stuffed animal to throw on the ice when the Griffins score their first goal. All stuffed animals — usually more than 1,000! — will be collected and donated to Hug-A-Bears of Kent County.
Let’s Can Hunger! – The Griffins and Cornerstone University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program will be hosting a can drive this Sunday starting at 4:30 p.m. as part of Campbell’s Let’s Can Hunger Challenge. SIFE strives to raise awareness and translate awareness to action in the form of urgent hunger relief. Fans can donate canned goods in the lobby and at the SIFE table on the concourse through the second intermission. Donate a canned food item and you will receive a voucher good for $1 off an upper bowl or $2 off a lower bowl ticket.
Toys For Tots – Now through Dec. 13, the Griffins’ office on the east side of Van Andel Arena is serving as an official drop-off site for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign. Through the gift of a new toy, Toys for Tots provides happiness and hope to children who might otherwise be overlooked during the holiday season. The toys and funds collected in West Michigan are used to purchase toys locally, and all toys are then distributed to needy children in our community.
Love for Lokomotiv – The wives and girlfriends of Griffins players – a.k.a the “Better Halves” – are selling $10 “Love for Lokomotiv” silicone memory bracelets on the concourse during all Saturday games this season. All proceeds benefit Love for Lokomotiv, a foundation established to support the families of the victims of the tragic Sept. 7 plane crash in Russia that claimed the lives of 44 people, including former Griffins Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek and Stefan Liv. Over 190 bracelets have been sold to date.
On behalf of the entire Griffins organization, best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
Today’s Griffins links:
- Curt’s Corner: Gaining ground (Griffins)
- Grand Rapids Griffins hope for offensive boost from Fabian Brunnstrom (MLive)
- Nyquist closes in on Smith’s top spot (Red Wings Central)
- Griffins’ holiday homestand continues with Bulldogs and Barons (Griffins)
- Red Wings’ Brendan Smith gains confidence out West, shows he belongs in NHL (MLive)
- Brendan Smith might stick around; another Wing has minor injury (Detroit News)
- Red Wings rookie Brendan Smith calls 3-game debut ‘awesome’ (Detroit Free Press)
- Wings change plans, will keep Smith and send out Brunnstrom (Detroit Free Press)
- Brunnstrom rejoins Griffins (Griffins)
- Red Wings reassign Fabian Brunnstrom to Grand Rapids (MLive)
- Griffins launch “Griffins Nation” (Griffins)
- Griffins make roster moves (Griffins)
- History repeating (Griffins)
- Missed penalty shots prove costly for Grand Rapids Griffins (MLive)
- Gleason Fournier makes strong impression in Grand Rapids Griffins debut (MLive)
- The great escape (Griffins)
- Grand Rapids Griffins rally, but lose another close game in OT (MLive)
- Griffins rally but can’t hold on in 5-4 OT loss (Griffins Central)
- ‘I’m playing for him’ — Father’s spirit drives Parkes (Niagara Falls Review)
- Video: GV Today Ep 1.4 — Around Town: Grand Rapids Griffins (Grand Valley TV)
Alumni news and notes:
- Niklas Kronwall steps up scoring with new leadership role for Detroit Red Wings (MLive)
- Wings defenseman Kronwall coming up big on offense (Detroit Free Press)
- Howard inspired by Thomas’ story, accomplishments (NHL)
NHL alumni goals:
- BOS Chris Kelly 2 – Nov. 19 at NYI
- BOS Chris Kelly 1 – Nov. 19 at NYI
- DET Justin Abdelkader – Nov. 19 at LA
- DET Niklas Kronwall – Nov. 19 at LA
- DET Niklas Kronwall – Nov. 17 at SJ
- NYR Sean Avery – Nov. 15 at NYI
- BOS Chris Kelly – Nov. 15 vs. NJ
- DET Darren Helm – Nov. 12 vs. DAL
- DET Niklas Kronwall – Nov. 12 vs. DAL
- BOS Chris Kelly – Nov. 12 vs. BUF
- DET Valtteri Filppula – Nov. 11 vs. EDM
- DET Niklas Kronwall – Nov. 11 vs. EDM
- BUF Ville Leino – Nov. 11 vs. OTT
- BUF Matt Ellis – Nov. 11 vs. OTT
- NYR Sean Avery – Nov. 11 vs. CAR
- COL Kyle Quincey – Nov. 10 vs. NYI
- FLA Tomas Kopecky – Nov. 8 at TOR
- FLA Tomas Kopecky – Nov. 6 vs. TB
- DET Niklas Kronwall – Nov. 5 vs. ANA
- BOS Chris Kelly – Nov. 1 vs. OTT