Devils to Donate Tickets to Frontline Healthcare Workers

This morning on the Devils’ official website and social media platforms, a feature article was posted by Chris Wescott stating that the Devils would be donating 10,000 tickets to healthcare workers on the frontlines. The tickets will be for games during the 2020-21 NHL season and will be available to RWJBarnabas Health frontline workers.

Wescott quoted Devils President Jake Reynolds as saying: “Each passing day we are filled with more gratitude for frontline healthcare workers who continue to dedicate themselves to help the residents of New Jersey.”

The ticket donation is in appreciation for all that these workers do in putting themselves in harm’s way while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the tickets already pledged, the Devils will also “donate an additional pair in conjunction with Season Ticket Members and Plan Members who push their credits forward to the 2020-21 season.” This is a part of the team’s “Pay It Forward” campaign, according to Wescott.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the Devils commitment to donate tickets to RWJBarnabas Health front-line workers and their families, as they are the selfless, dedicated heroes during this critical time. Josh Harris, David Blitzer, and the entire Devils organization have offered tremendous support to our entire system and I am sure our frontline staff can’t wait to cheer on the Devils when they are back on the ice” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health to Wescott.

Westcott mentioned that the Devils and Prudential Center also donated “nearly 7,000 pairs of gloves, 10,000 hand sanitizer units and soap, sprays, wipes, and other cleaning supplies … to RWJBarnabas Health’s network of 13 hospitals and 35,000 system employees across New Jersey.”

In addition to all of the donations, Wescott mentioned that the Devils will also be creating a social media campaign called #StickTapsat7. The campaign starts this evening and, each night, Devils players, alumni, coaches, management, front office staff, season ticket holders and corporate partners will post videos saluting staff such as doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with hockey stick taps.

On a personal note, my sister works as a respiratory therapist in the RWJBaranbas system and she is right in the thick of the COVID-19 battle. It is great to see the Devils saluting the frontline workers not only through donations, but also by taking a little bit of time to acknowledge them on social media.

The Devils have always been great to the community, especially when it comes to the hospitals, but this is really good to see at a time when people working in the medical field and their families can really use some help and hope.

NHL Joins 14 Pro Sports Leagues in Recognizing Healthcare Workers

The National Hockey League put out a press release today on their website saying that they have joined forces with fourteen professional sports leagues to form “The Real Heroes Project.”

The initiative will “recognize and celebrate healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the press release, athletes will be participating from “the ATP, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, NWSL, USGA, WNBA, WTA and WWE, among other professional and esports leagues, including Activision Blizzard Esports and Electronic Arts.” The athletes will be “dedicating their jerseys and uniforms to a special healthcare hero who is helping their community on the forefront of this global crisis.”

The athletes will be producing public service announcements produced by “creative agency 72andSunny, creative production company Hecho Studios, and media publication Adweek.” The PSAs will debut this Wednesday (May 6) “across league and team platforms.”

Each athlete participating, which for the NHL includes retired former player Wayne Gretzky and current Chicago Blackhawk captain Jonathan Toews, “will share a personal thank you message to their healthcare hero on social media utilizing #TheRealHeroes.” Also, in the PSAs and personal tributes, the “athletes will cover their name on their jerseys or uniforms and replace it with the name of their healthcare hero.”

In addition to Gretzky and Toews, former Canadian women’s hockey gold medalist and current Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant Director of Player Development, Hayley Wickenheiser will be participating in the program representing the NHL.

The program also invites fans of the athletes and leagues and teams in question to participate on social media. Fans can “dedicate their personal jerseys and team apparel to a frontline individual using the hashtag #TheRealHeroes.”