Heat Looking Forward to Another Year in the Community
STOCKTON, CALIF. - The Stockton Heat, proud AHL affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, today announced the team's community programs and relationships through initiatives and appearances that better Stockton and the Central Valley.
"Having our players, coaches and staff engaged in the community matters is baked into our DNA," Heat CEO Brian Petrovek said. "Whether it be through community events, programs and initiatives, we safeguard our commitment to the city and people that make Stockton and the Central Valley a great place to work and play. Hockey truly is a game for everyone, and through our community activities and events, we want everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference to know that hockey and the Stockton Heat truly are for everyone!"
One of the Heat's core initiatives continuing this year will be the Get in the Game. READ! program presented by Smack Pie Pizza through the Stockton Unified School District in a collaborative effort with the office of Mayor Tubbs to improve literacy throughout the region. The program, which saw 20 Heat hockey players visit and read to second grade classrooms and local libraries 65 times throughout the 2017-18 season, issued a "reading face-off" challenge to five participating Stockton Unified Schools which combined to read 15,338 books during last year's school year.
All five SUSD schools participants from Taft, Van Buren, Monroe, Hamilton and Fremont-Lopez Elementary Schools were invited out to a Heat game in April where the winner of the reading face-off was announced as Fremont-Lopez Elementary for reading 5,618 books! The school received a banner to hang at their school and will look to defend their title as champions this year as they, along with Taft, Van Buren, Monroe and Hamilton Elementary Schools look to dethrone the Bulldogs!
Another commitment the Heat will be making is to the youth hockey community in the Central Valley and East Bay. Through yearly Coaches Clinics, the Heat coaching staff gives back to local hockey coaches through classroom and on-ice programming in hopes of improving the quality of coaches and how to make the sport a positive experience on and off the ice. The Heat players also support local hockey teams by participating in youth hockey practices throughout the season.
The United Way of San Joaquin County will continue to be a major community partner of the Heat and Heat fans this season through the teams Canned Food Drive on November 9, Coat Drive on November 16 and Toy Drive on December 7. For fans who donate five canned goods, a new or gently used coat, and new toys during each respective drive at the Stockton Arena Ticket Office will receive a FREE ticket to the game that day.
The United Way of San Joaquin County will also put good use to the thousands of new socks that will be thrown on the ice during Harry Potter Sock Toss Night on November 30 and the stuffed animals tossed onto the ice during Teddy Bear Toss on January 19!
The University of the Pacific and the Stockton Heat will continue to partner to recognize perfect attendance at local Stockton-area schools through the Beyond Our Gates program, an initiative from the University that works collaboratively to improve the social and economic health of our region. The partnership between the team and university recognizes that students who are absent for 10% or more of the school year are less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade. That's why, to encourage students and families to build good attendance habits, we're rewarding students with terrific attendance habits with a pair of free tickets to the Heat game on either Wednesday, October 31 or Saturday, November 3. Last season, 22,000 students from 80 participating schools signed up for the program with the goal that this year, over 100 schools will participate in the program.
The partnership with the University of the Pacific doesn't end just there as the University of the Pacific Sports Management program works with the Stockton Heat to provide real-world experience to students through internships and through Pacific Heats Up, offering twelve students in the Sport Event and Facility Management class to "take-over" a Heat game and work with Heat staff on all aspects of the business including ticket and sponsorship sales, marketing and event operations.
The team also participates in major initiatives throughout the Hockey world, including Hockey is for Everyone run by the National Hockey League, USA Hockey, Hockey Canada , You Can Play and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). Throughout the month of February, the Heat will celebrate Hockey is for Everyone by using the game of hockey to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities. The Heat will invite fans to attend a morning skate on February 16 at 10:00 a.m. where fans who've been unable to come to a hockey game before can watch practice with Heat CEO Brian Petrovek and ask questions about the finer points of the game. Fans will also see the Heat take to the ice for warm-ups wearing special rainbow-themed jerseys throughout the month, which will be available for auction and will benefit local charities through the Stockton Heat Foundation.
Continuing from last season will be our Hockey Made Simple handouts and videos! Hockey Made Simple is a FREE handout available at the Bruce's Body Shop Sales & Service Table that teaches fans the basics of the sport in both English and Spanish. Fans can visit stocktonheat.com/simple to view some of the essential rules of the game!
In collaboration with USA Hockey, the Heat present Hockey Week Across America from February 17 through February 24, celebrating the sport of hockey through daily themes and to provide opportunities for those who haven't played hockey to try the sport! The week kicks off on Sunday, February 17 on Hockey Day in America where fans who wear their own youth or adult league hockey jerseys can receive a FREE ticket to the game that day at 5:00 p.m. against the Colorado Eagles.
Throughout the week, we'll salute players, coaches, officials and local rinks on Friday, February 22 we encourage fans to participate in Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day, where one lucky fan who posts a photo of themselves in their favorite jersey to Instagram or Twitter using #HHWAA will win a Heat jersey! On Saturday, February 23 we support local rinks who participate in Try Hockey Day, introducing the sport to those who've never had the chance to play and culminate our weekly celebration on Sunday, February 24 by celebrating our local hockey heroes during the game that day at 5:00 p.m. against the San Jose Barracuda. Fans can nominate their local hockey heroes, be they players, coaches, officials, team managers or anyone who's made a positive impact on local hockey in the Central Valley and East Bay communities!
Fans can check out a full list of community events and public appearances with Frankie the Firebird and Stockton Heat players throughout the season by visiting stocktonheat.com/communityevents.
Getting involved in the community doesn't stop with the team. This year, our Full, Half and Quarter-Season Heat365 Members have a chance to become Heat365 Ambassadors, assisting the Heat both at the Arena during games and in the community on a volunteer basis, serving as an extension of the Heat staff.
Heat365 Ambassadors will enjoy the benefits of giving back to the community and helping the Heat and the Stockton Heat Foundation grow, as well as be recognized at games and on the Stockton Heat website. Ambassadors will also be invited to take a group photo together on the ice at the conclusion of the season.
For more information on becoming a Heat365 Ambassador, or by becoming a Heat365 Member, visit stocktonheat.com/heat365 or call the Heat Front Office at 209.373.1500.
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