Devils, United Airlines Team Up to Give Back to Newark’s St. Philip’s Academy

According to a press release put out by the Devils today, the club will team up with Prudential Center and United Airlines to form the “Give 82” initiative.

Give 82 will encourage employees of the Devils and Prudential Center “to commit 82 hours of service to make a difference throughout the Garden State communities.”

Today, the organizations teamed up with United Airlines (who are the presenting sponsor) to surprise students at the St. Philip’s Academy in Newark with a “new, state-of-the-art outdoor hockey rink.” The press release states that this “further exemplifies the NHL’s commitment of bringing hockey to underserved communities along with giving the children a safe place to play hockey in the city of Newark.”

United Airlines’ logo will appear on the bluelines of the rink.

Miguel Brito, the CEO of Philip’s Academy said: “As everyone knows, outdoor space is scarce in Newark so we are truly thankful to the New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center, and United Airlines for the renovation of our outdoor play area. This gift will impact not only the students of Philip’s Academy, but the entire community that surrounds it. The Devils and Prudential Center ahve been outstanding supporters of Philip’s Academy over the past 18 months and this recent act of generosity is “icing” on the cake!”

Prudential Center and its employees have been assisting the Newark community for some time. The arena’s workers have been involved with “feeding the homeless at St. John’s Soup Kitchen or Goodwill Rescue Mission, visiting local Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s and schools or packaging nonperishable goods during the holidays for underserved individuals and families.”

The Give 82 program and the assistance from United Airlines will only strengthen the bonds between the team, the arena and the community. Jeff Scott, Devils Vice President of Community Investments and Grassroots said “(o)ur partnership with United Airlines allows us to further our charitable efforst while growing the game of hockey throughout our underserved communities. We are looking forward to our future projects together, creating lasting memories and making a difference in the lives of many.”

For United Airlines’ part, Jill Kaplan, President, New York/New Jersey, had this to say: “Being a proud partner of Prudential Center and the New Jersey Devils is an exciting and rewarding opportunity for United Airlines as these organizations align to our commitment of supporting our local community and our core values as a company. It is our mission to connect people and unite the world, and this partnership enacts that motto into action.”

United is also a “partner of other leading cultural institutions” in Newark, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Museum and Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District.

Kyle Palmieri to Form the “Kyle Palmieri Foundation”

The Devils and Kyle Palmieri yesterday announced that the right wing and his fiancee, Ashlee Casper, will be launching the Kyle Palmieri Foundation.

According to the official press release, “(t)he mission of the Kyle Palmieri Foundation is to give back to those who put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms as Americans.”

Kyle had previously started “Squad21” which allowed active military as well as veterans and their families to attend Devils games. Squad21 eventually evolved into this new Foundation, although according to the press release, it will live on as a part of the Foundation.

This new venture will “raise funds for various programs that benefit the military community.”

The Montvale, New Jersey-native had the following to say regarding his new Foundation: “There are endless challenges facing our nation’s military service members and veterans. We hope to help ease some of these challenges by providing support through The Kyle Palmieri Foundation and through our partnerships with NMFA, SWAN, and Vets for Pets. Each of these organizations provides invaluable supports and services, and the Foundation looks to help expand their incredible work. We’re proud to offer our help as a way to say thank you to the brave men and women who are serving and have served our country.”

The Foundation’s efforts began this week, according to the press release, as Palmieri was participating in the Morgan Hoffman Celebrity Pro-Am Charity Golf Outing yesterday and will take part in the Northern Trust Celebrity Pro-Am tomorrow.

The three official military nonprofits that are supported by The Kyle Palmieri Foundation are:

– Squad21

– Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) – which advocates for the individual and collective needs of military women. “They are committed to seeing that all service women receive the opportunities, protections, benefits and respect they deserve.” SWAN helps the nearly 2.5 million women active duty and veteran members of the US military.

– National Military Family Association (NMFA) – which strengthens and protects “the families of the men and women currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen.” It helps families members of service people from all branches of the military get information on benefits “and offers programs that improve their lives.”

– Pets for Vets – which “was created to improve the lives of both Veterans and animals by bringing them together in a thoughtful, caring way. They provide veterans with pets while also giving loving homes to the animals.

Palmieri, of course, has deep roots when it comes to the military. His sister, Taylor and his brother-in-law Stephen currently serve in the National Guard and the US Army, making this a very personal venture for Kyle and the Palmieri family.

Devils Partner with DREAM Newark for Day of Service

The Devils organization celebrated a day of service on August 7 with DREAM Newark according to a press release put out on the team’s official site.

DREAM (formerly Harlem RBI according to the press release) “continued its partnership with the New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center and The Harris Family Charitable Foundation with a day of service and celebration on Tuesday, Aug. 7 in Newark.”

DREAM was recognizing Devils owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer “for their commitment to the community.” The day featured activities which showed how sports and education can positively influence kids. According to the press release, a press conference, media availability and youth enrichment activities were held.

The release also said that DREAM Newark is run by Harris and Blitzer and that the two are long time supporters of the DREAM initiative.

It also said that The Harris Family Charitable Foundation helped to “fund a grant to DREAM Network for a literacy program, as well as to provide youth access to the powerful benefits of playing baseball and softball.” Both Harris and Blitzer “have contributed significantly to supporting DREAM’s infrastructure and ability to reach thousands of youth in our area each year.”

In other hockey news, we would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends and fans of hockey legend Stan Mikita. The Hockey Hall of Famer and Chicago Blackhawk great passed away earlier today at the age of 78. Mr. Mikita played his entire 22-year NHL career with the Blackhawks, retiring in 1980. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. He was also named one of the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players in 2017 during the league’s centennial celebrations.

After immigrating to Canada with his aunt and uncle (leaving behind his mother and father) following the communist takeover of his native Czechoslovakia in 1948 when he was just eight years old, Mikita (born Stanislav Gvoth – he later took his aunt and uncle’s last name) settled in St. Catharines, Ontario.

In St. Catharines, he quickly took to the game of hockey. He was signed by the Blackhawks when he was just 13 years old and played for the Hawks’ Ontario Hockey Association affiliate, the St. Catharines Teepees. He was called up to Chicago at 19 years old in 1958-59, beginning a career that would see him win the Hart Trophy twice (1967 and 1968), the Art Ross Trophy four times (1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968), the Lady Byng Trophy twice (1967 and 1968) and the Stanley Cup in 1961. He was also an eight time all-star.

He is the Blackhawks’ all-time leader in games played (1,394), assists (926) and points (1,467). His number 21 was retired by the Blackhawks.

For a younger generation, he will be remembered for his appearance in the movie Wayne’s World in 1992. The movie took place in the Chicago area and featured a donut shop named after him as a parody of the real-life Tim Horton’s donut chain.

Once again, our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. Mikita in this tough time.

Devils to Again Host Beach Bash

The Devils will once again be hosting their annual Beach Bash on Saturday, August 18 at Jenkinson’s North Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.

Tickets are $45 for both Season Ticket Members and non-Members. The Members get a beach badge for Jenkinson’s, access to the Beach Bash activities, a custom Devils Beach Bash hat, unlimited BBQ and unlimited soft beverages. They also get one free drink ticket and a Member exclusive area with access to current players and alumni.

The non-Members get everything except the free drink voucher and the access to the Member area with players and alumni.

In addition, the Devils have a Frequently Asked Questions section on the ticket-buying page (here) that says that parking is $25 and located at 3 Broadway in Point Pleasant Beach.

The rain date is Sunday, August 19. If the event does take place on the scheduled rain date, refunds for tickets will not be available. The FAQ says that if it rains all weekend (August 18 and 19), then the event will be canceled and refunds will be given. They will be administered beginning Monday, August 20, 2018. The Devils are also not responsible for refunds if you purchase the tickets through third parties (including Jenkinson’s). Your best bet is to buy them from the above link. In other words, refunds are only given on tickets purchased through the Devils if the event is canceled due to rain that weekend. Each ticket is obviously only good for one person’s admission.

If you are a beach badge holder for 2018 at Jenkinson’s, you can go to the Beach Bash entrance with your badge and fill out a form to get in. The FAQ says that you can upgrade on site to get the unlimited food and soft beverage package.

This is always a fun, community-based event that helps the Devils reach out to fans around the state of New Jersey. It is a cool thing that they have been doing as they get fans at the Jersey Shore primed for the new hockey season.

Again, visiting the above link is the best way to learn more about the event and buy tickets if you are interested.

Devils to Hold First-Ever “Sleep Out”

The New Jersey Devils will be holding a “Sleep Out” at Prudential Center’s Championship Plaza after the game on March 24 versus Tampa Bay. This event will help raise funds for Covenant House New Jersey, a charity that benefits homeless youth.

You help by either joining in on the Sleep Out and participating directly, or by donating money directly to the goal of $250,000. Participation (more specifically a donation of $50 or more) gets you a voucher for tickets to the Devils’ March 27th game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Devils alumni and employees will be participating as well as fans. The Devils’ website (NewJerseyDevils.com/Sleepout) has a frequently asked question section that says that the safety of all involved is taken into account. According to the FAQ, “indoor space remains available throughout the night.”

The money raised goes to Covenant House New Jersey a charity that operates shelters for kids in need. The donordrive.com site for the event says that you will “spend an evening getting to know some of the young people whose lives will be better because of your efforts on their behalf – and spend the rest of the night sleeping on the street in their place.”

Covenant House not only provides shelter for homeless youth, it also provides “wrap-around services, including education and job training, so they can move forward to an adulthood free of poverty and the threat of homelessness.”

Once you sign up, the Covenant House is asking that you work towards a $1,000 fundraising goal. Everyone is encouraged to attend, adults 23 and older can participate alone (and friends and family can attend as long as they register in advance), children 13 and older must be accompanied by an adult.

The FAQ asks that you “approach the event with an open heart, an open mind, and a willingness to work hard for something outside of your comfort zone.”

The FAQ also mentions that you wear weather-appropriate clothing, bring personal toiletries and medications and your smartphone. They will provide you with a new sleeping bag or you can bring your own. They ask that you do not bring luxury bedding items like pillows, as this is an event “to sleep rough for one night in solidarity with homeless kids.” They also do not recommend that you bring any valuable items (aside from your smartphone) and that you do not bring alcohol, as this is a dry event.

You can register at newjerseydevils.com/sleepout or contact tdipietro@covenanthouse.org or call 973-286-3425 for more information.

“Running with the Devils” Event a Fun Day for All

The Devils held their “Running with the Devils” 5K and fun walk today at Turtle Back Zoo and the South Mountain Recreation Park in West Orange, New Jersey. The event was to benefit Clara Maass Medical Center. I attended, participating in the walk and it was a nice day for everyone involved.

The day began at 7;30 AM with registration for the runners and walkers. After that, participants milled around waiting for the start of the race and walk. There were games for kids such as cornhole (bean bag toss) and a street hockey net to shoot balls at. There was face painting and the Devils Fan Club was in attendance.

Devils mascot NJ Devil was on hand to meet and greet fans prior to the start and the kids were really enjoying things.

About 8:30 AM, ABC-7 news anchor and master of ceremonies, Ken Rosato, began to introduce the dignitaries on hand. Rosato spoke on the importance of physical fitness and exercising. Devils radio play-by-play man Matt Loughlin spoke and introduced the administration staff of Clara Maass, including Mary Ellen Clyne, PhD and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. who both said a few words. DiVincenzo was largely responsible for the improvements and upgrades at the Turtle Back Zoo where the walk was held. Devils legend Ken Daneyko was also present and spoke on behalf of the Devils. The president of the Devils’ One Jersey Foundation also spoke about the Devils charitable role in the events.

Matt Loughlin joked that Danekyo began his Jersey odyssey just steps away at the Devils old practice and training facility at South Mountain Arena.

The 5K started at about 8:45 AM when the 150 to 200 or so runners took off. The walk began a few minutes later. It was a nice leisurely walk through the hills that make up the Turtle Back Zoo. Walkers had the option to stop and look at the animals and exhibits if they chose. Once the walk and race were done, you could take in even more of the zoo, as admission was included with the registration fee.

Many families were on hand and stuck around when the zoo officially opened at about 10 AM. It was not a very long day. Everything was wrapped up by about 10:30 AM and all of the inflatable Devils signs and whatnot were taken down, as if nothing had even occurred, but it was a nice day out in the sunshine for many families all for a good cause.

Fan Meets Retweet Goal for Devils Season Tickets

Nick Donnelly had a simple question for the Devils through Twitter. “How many retweets for season tickets?” Nine thousand, four hundred and fifty retweets later, Donnelly became the newest Devils season ticket member.

The Devils PR team arrived at this unique number by multiplying 35 (the amount of years the Devils have been playing in New Jersey) by 4 (Scott Stevens’ retired number) plus 3 (Ken Daneyko) plus 27 (Scott Niedermayer) plus 30 (Martin Brodeur) plus 26 (Patrik Elias’ soon-to-be-retired number) which equaled 3,150. They then multiplied that number by three (the number of Stanley Cups the franchise has won) to come up with 9,450.

The team then gave Donnelly a week to achieve those retweets. If he hit the first number (3,150), he would get the 5-game Patty Pack. Hitting the full number would net him full season ticket membership for 2017-18. That is when things really took off.

Soon, Devils fans and players on Twitter and even fans of other teams were retweeting Donnelly in an attempt to help him hit his goal.

Adam Henrique and Keith Kinkaid pitched in with retweets and support. Brian Born on the Devils’ official website reported that less than ten minutes after Taylor Hall retweeted Donnelly at 9 PM on September 12, the final few retweets came in. Donnelly had his season tickets. His final tally was 11,476 retweets all between 1:32 PM when he initially tweeted the Devils and 9:19 PM when the Devils officially welcomed him as a new season ticket member. All in less than eight hours!

This was a cool impromptu promotion that the Devils did through Twitter. It also shows the power of social media in this day and age. Donnelly really put himself out there by thinking outside the box and, amazingly, the Devils responded. It was a fun thing and some good PR for the Devils to boot. Many on Twitter were lauding the Devils for doing what they did and really giving them credit for doing something so cool.

Their only regret, perhaps, is that they gave him a week to meet his goal, not knowing it would take less than a day to exceed the number that they gave him.

“Running with the Devils 5K” to Happen on September 24

The New Jersey Devils put out a press release today stating the the club was teaming up with RWJBarnabas Health for the “Running with the Devils 5K” race to benefit Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey.

The race will take place on September 24 at the Turtle Back Zoo and South Mountain Reservoir in Essex County. This complex is right near the Devils’ former practice rink at South Mountain Arena in West Orange, New Jersey.

The Devils said that Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. will serve as honorary chairman of the race while WABC-TV news anchor Ken Rosato will be master of ceremonies for the day.

The press release states that the 5K race (which is only part of the festivities) will begin in the Turtle Back Zoo and then the runners will go through a “picturesque route through the South Mountain Reservoir.” In addition to the 5K there will also be a family fun walk through the zoo, interactive games, the Devils Street Team making an appearance and an appearance by NJ Devil and Devils alumni.

The Devils site says that the event begins at 7:30 AM on September 24 with the race starting at 8:30 AM. The release says that “runners can compete as individuals or as a team.” There is a fee, $30 for adults who sign up online through September 23. The fee for event day registration is $35. There is a $10 fee for kids regardless of when they sign up. The release says that the entry fee inclues: “zoo admission for the day, an event t-shirt and completion medal. The race is competitive and awards for the 5K Run will be presented to the top 3 male, female and child finishers.”

For the family fun walk, that begins at 8:45 AM. The costs are $25 for adult walkers who sign up online through September 23 and $30 for event day sign up. Kids are $10 and children under four are free. For signing up, you get zoo admission for the day and an event t-shirt. The walk will take paricipants through the Turtle Back Zoo and will allow families “to see more than 100 different species of animals from five continents.”

The press release also says that “as part of the charitable aspect of RWJBarnabas Health “Running with the Devils,” and to encourage team participation, there will be several awards presented to individuals who lead the fundraising effort in support of the Clara Maass Medical Center.”

The Devils encouraged people to visit www.zoofunrun.org for more information on the event, to become a sponsor or to register for the 5K run or family fun walk.