During a ceremony Tuesday morning at Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville Predators Foundation distributed 113 grants, totaling a record $450,772.87, to Nashville and Middle Tennessee-based community service and charitable organizations.
Among the many worthy recipients was Antioch’s own Lighthouse Christian School, which was awarded an $8,000 grant.
Following the ceremony, the Nashville Predators Foundation and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT), who were in the midst of their “The Big Payback” campaign, hosted a party on the Bridgestone Arena plaza that featured food trucks, live music, family activities and more.
Including the more than $450,000 in grant money distributed today, Jack Diller Scholarships, the 365 Pediatric Cancer Research Fund presented by Dollar General, KABOOM playground involvement, and the Legacy Project at the Nashville Inner City Ministries, the Nashville Predators Foundation donated over $1 million in cash to Nashville and Middle Tennessee community service and charitable organizations during the 2015-16 season. Established in 1998, the Foundation also serves the community through in-kind donations, player ticket programs, assisting in fund-raising efforts and more.
“This year’s donation of $450,772.87 – the largest in franchise history – is an unbelievable testament to the support and generosity of Smashville. The organizations and their staffs honored today are community heroes – offering services and programs to those in need,” Nashville Predators Foundation President Sean Henry said.
This marked the second straight year that the Predators Foundation partnered with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to enable participating organizations that received Predators Foundation grants to put their grant money toward CFMT’s The Big Payback campaign. The Big Payback, which began at 12 a.m. this morning and runs through midnight, is a 24-hour online giving event that CFMT uses to increase and encourage philanthropy in Middle Tennessee.
In addition to grant recipients, today’s ceremony also recognized DEX Imaging and Mailing for their support of the Nashville Predators Foundation grants program. The DEX Score and Win Program, which rewards goals and wins by Preds skaters and goalies, DEX Imaging and Mailing donated $31,300 to area charities this season.
“Our fans, players and staff, with their dedication and loyalty to our annual events, ensure that Middle Tennessee youth and families continue to benefit from the funding the Predators Foundation commits to the community on a regular basis.”
Upon reviewing over 280 grant applications, 113 organizations were selected to receive grants. The grant committee selected programs that will primarily benefit youth and families, keeping consistent with the Foundation’s mission.
Each year the Predators choose four organizations to serve as featured charities for the season. In addition to financial grants, the Predators Foundation provides these featured charities with organizational visits by players and Preds personalities as well as added exposure, awareness and visibility for the charity. The featured charities for the 2015-16 season are Assistance League of Nashville, Fallen Soldiers March, The Journey Home and The Refuge Center for Counseling. The grant money will benefit local youth in many ways, such as:
- Deer Run Retreat – Funding will be used to purchase a bus to help transport youth.
- Glencliff High School Football – Funding will underwrite a new water hydration system.
- Youth Inc. – Funding will help to improve inline hockey rink.
- Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park – Funds will purchase educational supplies for Kidsville.
The Predators Foundation strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. All 501(c)3 organizations in Middle Tennessee are eligible to receive grants, which are distributed once a year. Annual grant applications were received by mid-February for consideration. Additionally, over the past three years, the Nashville Predators have donated almost $1 million to the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Dollar General which goes to fund research at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, with another donation slated for this coming June.