Attending a Minnesota Wild game is a big deal, especially with all of the excitement this season. Buying a program when you get there maybe isn’t a high priority, but it should be. Prairie Island Indian Community and the Minnesota Wild Foundation are teaming up to turn those programs into major fundraisers for local youth hockey associations.
The Minnesota Wild has been working with youth hockey associations on program sales since their first game in 2000. For each home game, the Minnesota Wild Foundation collects the proceeds from the game programs that are sold that night. The association that helped sell programs for that game automatically receives a grant, in addition to the ability to attend the game that night. At the end of the season, Prairie Island Indian Community matches the total dollar amount from program sales and donates all of that money to Minnesota Hockey and other youth hockey programs.
“When we began the matching program sales with the MN Wild, it was a new way to reach out and help hockey associations across the state,” said Johnny Johnson, President of the Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council. “The program sales gave the hockey teams another way to raise funds to help pay for ice time and equipment so more kids could have the opportunity to play hockey.”
The Prairie Island Indian Community first got involved with game program sales in 2008-2009. The partnership has been successful from the start, producing over $100,000 donations in the first year. This season a total of 17 different youth hockey associations will make the trip to the Xcel Energy Center for one of the most enjoyable fundraisers ever.
“By supporting a multitude of youth hockey teams, we are making sure that more kids get involved in the sport,” said Johnson. “Obesity is a serious issue with young people and hockey keeps them active, they develop leadership skills and learn the value of teamwork, and just have fun!”
“Prairie Island continues to be a tremendous supporter of Minnesota Hockey and our community based associations,” said Glen Andresen, Executive Director for Minnesota Hockey. “We can’t thank them enough for their ongoing commitment to developing our youth through hockey.”
Since 1994, the Prairie Island Indian Community, a federally recognized Indian Nation, has donated more than $16 million to a variety of civic and non-profit organizations. The Prairie Island Indian Community owns and operates Treasure Island Resort & Casino, located just south of Hastings, Minn. For more information, visit www.prairieisland.org.