Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation 2020.21 Community Report

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ABOUT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 YOUTH HOCKEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 WELLNESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 EDUCATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 COMMUNITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 SIGNATURE EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 PLAYER INITIATIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 SHORT SHIFTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 THANK YOU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48




In Pittsburgh, we believe in the power of hockey. From our players on the ice, to our fans in the stands, to our neighbors in our Steel City, our community is bound by the great game of hockey. This game truly has power. It has the power to connect, to influence and to make a difference. Our organization has a responsibility to use the power of hockey to give back. As you support us, we are called to support you in return. During the 2020.21 NHL season, in the midst of isolation and at a time our world felt divided, so many in our region needed the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins more than ever before. This season, we were able to unite our community through diversity initiatives including the Willie O’Ree Academy and Her Hockey Day. We were able to show that hockey is for everyone with the NHL’s first-ever joint Pride Game. And, we were able to assist the mental health and wellness of our fans through Hockey Talks and the COOL Zone. This was all made possible because of the power of our game. That great game is seen the clearest in the eyes of our youngest fans. From a child’s first home game, to their first strides as a Little Penguins player, to their first time meeting their hockey heroes, this powerful game shows its heart. Yes, there are heartstopping moments on the ice, but these moments that touch our hearts off the ice are most powerful. Your support has allowed for hockey to be the heartbeat of our Pittsburgh community. For that, we thank you. We are honored to have the continued responsibility of using the game in powerful ways and hope you enjoy reading about these efforts within our impact report. Hockey wouldn’t be as powerful without your dedication, your generosity and your heart.



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The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation



THE MISSION OF THE PENGUINS FOUNDATION To be the champions of all youth in our community, on and off the ice, through the power of hockey.



The Penguins Foundation focuses its support in the following four areas:

Jim Britt

OF THE PENGUINS FOUNDATION • YOUTH HOCKEY: We foster the growth, accessibility and sustainability of youth hockey in the tristate area with the goal of sharing the game we love.


Amanda Susko

Sr. Director, Foundation Programs & Strategic Planning

• WELLNESS: We support health, fitness and awareness initiatives that assist the overall physical and mental wellness of our youth.

Cindy Himes

• EDUCATION: We provide opportunities for all children to have access to premier learning tools and initiatives to ensure excellence in education.

Shannon Webster

• COMMUNITY: We impact our city and region through programming, investments and partnerships that create a strong community and secure future for children and families.

Director, Community/Alumni Relations Director, Youth Hockey

Darya Snoznik

Manager, Foundation

Lindsay Litterini

Manager, Foundation

Jaden Lindo

Manager, Community Hockey Programs

A.J. Balboni

Coordinator, Youth Hockey

Alexis Brezny

Program Assistant




Sy Holzer

Jim Britt

David Malone

Kevin Acklin

Fran Muracca

Kevin Hart

Dan Onorato

Melissa Armstrong

Deborah Rice-Johnson

CEO/President Pittsburgh Penguins Executive Director Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation COO and General Counsel Pittsburgh Penguins Sr. VP of Finance/Controller Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins

David Farner

Former President PNC Financial Services Group CEO Gateway Financial Partner Jones Day

Executive Vice President, Highmark Health Highmark President of Highmark Health Plan Highmark

Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic & Transformation Officer UPMC

Kristin Wells

Donald Heberle

Angela Wheland

Executive VP of Wealth Management PNC

Partner Reed Smith

VP, Communications FedEx Ground




Youth Hockey We foster the growth, accessibility and sustainability of youth hockey in the tristate area with the goal of sharing the game we love.





Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins is an introductory learn to play program for youth ages 5 to 9. The program aims to inspire children to join the sport. Little Penguins provides first-time participants free head-to-toe equipment, on-ice instruction and certified coaching in a fun and safe atmosphere. Little Penguins is presented by the NHL and NHLPA with the support of Crosby, the Penguins Foundation, DICK’S Sporting Goods, CCM and USA Hockey.

In June of 2021, the doors to the Willie O’Ree Academy were officially opened. Named in honor of Willie O’Ree, the NHL’s first Black player in 1958 and an inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2018, the Academy was designed to provide unique training, social and mentorship opportunities for Black youth hockey players in the Pittsburgh area. In partnership with DICK’s Sporting Goods, 29 youth hockey participants, ages 9 to 17, have begun meeting once a week for nine weeks at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, as well as once-a-month outside of the course to participate in educational programming and social activities.

Since 2008, Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins program has given over 13,000 children an introduction to hockey!

560 children hit the ice as Little Penguins participants during the 2020.21 season!

We love the game of hockey and have developed this program to ensure that we have the community and resources needed to grow this great game.

Willie O’Ree NHL Trailblazer

Special thanks to Trevor Daley for his contribution to the Willie O’Ree Academy and its mission, both on and off the ice!




PROJECT POWER PLAY Starting in 2012, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Highmark partnered to build dek hockey rinks through Project Power Play. The initial phase included a budget of $2.3 million over a four-year period with added support from the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the surrounding communities. The next phase of Project Power Play is now underway with plans for program expansion plus the construction of additional deks in our region.

2012 – 2 RINKS • Banksville Park, Banksville • Lewis Park, Hazelwood 2013 – 4 RINKS • Brookline Memorial Park, Brookline • Hosanna House Sherwood Event Center, Wilkinsburg • Riverside Park, Oakmont • Richland Community Park, Wexford

2014 – 4 RINKS 2018 – 2 RINKS • Renzie Park, McKeesport • South Park, South Park • Settler’s Cabin, Oakdale (Ice Rink Conversion) • North Park, Allison Park • Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, OH • Graham Park, Cranberry Township 2019 – 1 RINK 2015 – 2 RINKS • Bellevue Memorial Park, Bellevue • Paul J. Scullio II Memorial Park, 2021 – 1 RINK Bloomfield • McBride Park, City of Pittsburgh • South Park, South Park

Learn to Play Dek Hockey participants receive the following: • • • • •

Helmet Hockey Stick Hockey Gloves Shin Guards Learn to Play T-Shirt

Efforts to grow hockey ‘on dek’ have led to the creation of the Learn to Play Dek Hockey program. Similar to Little Penguins on-ice, this program equips kids, ages 4 to 9, with free dek hockey equipment as part of a 6-8 week instructional series. In 2020.21, 630 kids joined as Learn to Play Dek participants!


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PENSFIT PensFIT presented by FedEx Ground is designed to introduce children to the sport of hockey and facilitate an increase in physical activity by supplying schools and community centers with complete sets of floor hockey equipment including sticks, hockey balls, goals, goalie equipment and more.

GIVE HOCKEY A SHOT Created during the 2016.17 season, Give Hockey a Shot was designed for young athletes, ages 6 to 12, to play this great game regardless of income. Give Hockey a Shot allows rinks in the Pittsburgh region to borrow one of three fully stocked equipment trailers for up to 30 days with each trailer housing 40 sets of youth hockey equipment.

EQUIPMENT RELIEF PROGRAM The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation partnered with the NHL, NHLPA and DICK’S Sporting Goods to offer hockey equipment to select families throughout Greater Pittsburgh that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 through an Equipment Relief Program. This program provided approximately $20,000 worth of equipment to help families in need and to grow the game and continue the love for this sport.

Since the launch of PensFIT in 2012, the Penguins Foundation has provided free floor hockey equipment to more than 650 schools and community centers in 10 different counties!




PITTSBURGH PENGUINS ELITE A joint effort of the Pittsburgh Penguins and DICK’S Sporting Goods, Penguins Elite offers a comprehensive program for player development that includes the region’s premier coaching staff, professional management, world-class training facilities, academic guidance and more. The Penguins Elite program, Western Pennsylvania’s premier AAA amateur hockey organization, is the only program in the region that offers a full complement of teams for boys and girls at all age groups. The Penguins Foundation proudly supports Penguins Elite annually.

EXCEL HOCKEY ACADEMY In 2017.18, the Pittsburgh Penguins organization opened the doors to EXCEL Hockey Academy, a premier scholastic hockey academy in partnership with the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex and North Catholic High School. With financial support provided by the Penguins Foundation, EXCEL Hockey Academy offers students a unique combination of traditional classes with daily ice time and world-class hockey training. In addition to the high school level (grades 9-12), EXCEL Hockey Academy is open to middle school (grades 6-8) and grade school (grades 3-5) students as well on a modified basis.



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Wellness We support health, fitness and awareness initiatives that assist the overall physical and mental wellness of our youth.



COOL ZONE With the support of the Penguins Foundation and EMBRACE Pittsburgh, the Children Overcoming Obstacles and Limits (COOL) Zone was developed in 2015 by the Matilda Theiss Early Childhood Behavioral Health Program, part of UPMC Western Behavioral Health. Shaped like an “igloo” to provide a safe space for children, the COOL Zone is a program for kids who exhibit symptoms of or who currently have a behavioral health diagnosis. This program increases accessibility to high quality mental health services by partnering with existing schools and community centers in Allegheny County. Within these child-friendly settings, the COOL Zone serves children experiencing a range of behavioral and emotional disruptions such as: aggression, anxiety, depression, withdrawal, family disruption, emotional difficulties, traumatic responses and more.

Since 2015, the COOL Zone has assisted over 340 children in the Pittsburgh region.

COOL Zone Locations:


Edgewood Primary School 241 Maple Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Penn Hills Elementary School 1079 Jefferson Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Wilkins Primary School 362 Churchill Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Hosanna House 807 Wallace Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15221

Twin Rivers Primary and Intermediate School 1600 Cornell St. McKeesport, PA 15132

UPMC Children’s Pine Center 11279 Perry Hwy. Wexford, PA 15090



HEADS UP The Penguins Foundation and UPMC Sports Medicine teamed up in 2011 to create HEADS UP Pittsburgh to combat an epidemic of concussions in young athletes. The program aims each year to provide free, baseline testing to youth in our region, while sharing the latest training tools to aid in concussion reduction.

Expansion of HEADS UP Pittsburgh: 2011

Introduction of HEADS UP Pittsburgh to Hockey Athletes (Ages 10-14)


Expansion of HEADS UP Pittsburgh to Athletes in All Sports


Free Neck-Strengthening Kits to First 4,000 Participants

2014 Free Flexibility Kits to First 2,000 Participants

Through HEADS UP, over 26,000 athletes have been baseline tested from 34 sports!


Introduction of Pediatric-Version (Ages 7-9) of HEADS UP Pittsburgh


Free Balance Discs to First 3,000 Participants


Free Pilates Balls to First 3,000 Participants

2018 Free Neck-Strengthening Kits to First 1,000 Participants 2019

Free Wind Resistance Strength Builders to First 2,500 Participants

2020 Free Neck-Strengthening Kits to First 2,000 Participants 2021

Free Neck-Strengthening Kits to First 2,000 Participants


BREAK THE ICE The NHL’s Hockey Talks initiative, inspired by former Vancouver Canucks player Rick Rypien, is meant to create an environment that allows people to feel comfortable when talking about mental health. The initiative encourages teams to share resources, stories and break the stigma about mental health issues. In 2019.20, the Pittsburgh Penguins joined this fight as a champion of mental health within our team and our community.

For the second straight season, the Penguins organization proudly embraced the NHL’s Hockey Talks campaign by hosting Break the Ice Night!

In partnership with EMBRACE Pittsburgh, the Penguins Foundation created a program to continue the efforts of Hockey Talks known as Break the Ice. With the Break the Ice initiative, a designated Penguins game focuses on mental health awareness efforts each season. In 2020.21, on January 28, fans were encouraged to share their stories and supportive messages on social media by using #BreakTheIce. In addition, complimentary #BreakTheIce wristbands, called EMBRACE-lets, could be requested online, which encouraged fans to talk about mental wellness anytime they’re talking about Penguins hockey. A free, virtual panel was also offered to college students to connect with former Penguins player Colby Armstrong and Tyler Smith from the Humboldt Broncos regarding mental wellness. Finally, as part of the Break the Ice game, Penguins players wore Hockey Talks t-shirts and helmet decals to show support for mental health awareness.




CARE MOBILE In October 2019, the Penguins Foundation unveiled a new Care Mobile in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The 40-foot vehicle features distraction therapy and provides 17 different services and tests -- including wellness visits, immunizations, physicals, sick visits and more -- to children in low income areas in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The distraction therapy program utilized within the Care Mobile alleviates the stress children experience when going to the doctor’s office. When children enter the exam rooms, they are transported into a Penguins-themed igloo or to an under the sea adventure. The children then focus on what is going on around them rather than the reason they are there. Games have even been designed for these rooms during the medical visit, thus making it a better experience for both the parents and the children.



UPMC Children’s is committed to providing world-class care… But, there are children who can’t make it to us. So, what the Care Mobile allows us to do – is make it to them. Marc Sevco President UPMC Children’s Hospitals of Pittsburgh


H.O.P.E. The Penguins Foundation and EVERFI partnered to support the FBI Pittsburgh Division and Citizens Academy on the Heroin Outreach Prevention and Education (H.O.P.E.) initiative in 2020.21 for the sixth consecutive year. H.O.P.E. teaches students about the dangers of opioid abuse and provides an understanding of how abuse can be prevented. To put this knowledge into action, students were challenged to create a PSA for entry into a video contest with the Penguins Foundation providing Pittsburgh Penguins Packs, consisting of Pens memorabilia and more, to winning students. In total, 16 videos from 9 school districts across 8 different counties in Western PA entered the H.O.P.E Contest.

H.O.P.E. Winners: • 1st: South Fayette High School • 2nd: Indiana County Tech Center • 3rd: Forest Hills Junior-Senior High School

PRESCRIPTION DRUG SAFETY In an effort to help address adolescent drug abuse and misuse in Pennsylvania, the Penguins Foundation, Rite Aid Foundation, EVERFI and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro teamed up to bring the Prescription Drug Safety program, an innovative digital course about prescription drug abuse prevention, to over 18,000 students within 188 high schools in Western Pennsylvania at no cost. The series of six interactive modules educates students on opioids, depressants and stimulants and teaches the appropriate use for each drug, as well as intervention skills.



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Education We provide opportunities for all children to have access to premier learning tools and initiatives to ensure excellence in education.



SCIENCE OF HOCKEY In partnership with PPG and Carnegie Science Center’s Science on the Road program, the Penguins Foundation developed a unique program designed to excite students about STEM programming using hockey as the key subject. Geared toward students in grades K–8, Science of Hockey invites students to help take a ragtag team of hockey players all the way to the Stanley Cup by learning about reaction time, cryogenic chemistry, forces of motion and more through dynamic science and math demonstrations. Highlights of Science of Hockey include: immersing a 3D-printed scale model of the Stanley Cup in liquid nitrogen and an explanation of thermochromic paint that is used on hockey pucks to indicate to NHL referees when it is time for a fresh puck in the game. Developed as both a virtual program, or a traveling assembly that can visit schools or libraries, Science of Hockey is led by a Science on the Road educator, with assistance from pre-recorded videos of Iceburgh.

At PPG, we know that science is all around us – from the paint that protects a hockey goal post, to the coating that indicates when a puck is game-ready – it is a powerful component in the game of hockey and beyond. This dynamic and engaging program will allow us to further educate the next generation of inventors, and showcase real-life examples of advanced coatings applications and the chemistry behind them.

Malesia Dunn Executive Director PPG Foundation & Global Social Responsibility

Science of Hockey is packed with engaging lessons and demonstrations that draw real-world connections to the scientific concepts students are learning in schools. Our collaboration with PPG and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation has resulted in a fantastic assembly show that is guaranteed to get students excited about science. Jason Brown Henry Buhl, Jr., Director Carnegie Science Center




FUTURE GOALS HOCKEY SCHOLAR A league-wide initiative co-sponsored by the NHL and NHLPA, the Future Goals Hockey Scholar program helps students learn science, technology, engineering and math concepts that are present in hockey by using simulations on iPads and computers. Since 2014, Future Goals has yielded over 244,650 hours of STEM learning opportunities for students in our region.

MOST VALUABLE TEACHER Anthony Burns, a local teacher at North Hills Middle School, was selected out of 20 educators as the NHL and NHLPA’s Most Valuable Teacher for the month of January. Teachers were selected monthly for their use of the NHL and NHLPA-sponsored Future Goals program, which teaches students key STEM skills. Penguins player Brian Dumoulin informed Anthony that he was the selected January MVT. In addition, SAP granted Anthony $10,000 to help fund new technological devices for North Hills School District.

STEAM LENDING LIBRARY With the assist of a $442,000 PAsmart Grant by Governor Tom Wolf, the Penguins Foundation expanded the STEAM Lending Library initiative to 22 counties across Western Pennsylvania to provide students with access to technological education to engage even more students with science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. This program has impacted over 400,000 students in grades K-12, which has allowed the Penguins Foundation to strengthen its educational pillar.

RETHINK THE RINK For the 4th season, the Penguins, Covestro and Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering united to Rethink the Rink – a unique effort to make the game of hockey safer at all levels. This season, Rethink the Rink challenged CMU students to develop potential materials and technology solutions to better hockey helmets through a Make-A-Thon held in May.

To date, Future Goals Hockey Scholar has reached over 98,000 students in Western Pennsylvania!

The collaboration with Covestro and Carnegie Mellon is an exciting attempt to use advances in material science to improve the safety of the players. Combined with insight from the Penguins and the NHL, Rethink the Rink is an exceptional way to explore making an inherently physical sport safer. This is a meaningful research project that could help make a long-term impact on the game. David Morehouse President & CEO Pittsburgh Penguins




SCHOLARSHIPS The Penguins organization supported the following annual scholarship awards during 2020.21: • Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation Scholarship: $3,000 (Year 1); $2,000 (Year 2) Awarded to high school seniors from Pittsburgh Public Schools and select schools within Allegheny County based on their academic achievement, community service and participation in school activities. Recipients: 10 Students • Bob Johnson Memorial Scholarship: $5,000

Recipients of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation Scholarship included: • Aaron Zachary Berger, Pittsburgh Taylor Allderdice High School, Harvard University • Tyler Bindas, Woodland Hills High School, University of Pittsburgh • Ashley Davis, West Mifflin Area High School, University of Pittsburgh • Bradley Dietz, Northgate High School, California University of Pennsylvania • Amira Jackson, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, Muhlenberg College • Abigail Klemm, Brentwood Borough High School, Penn State Behrend

Awarded to one Western Pennsylvania high school senior for academic excellence, community service and for providing leadership and sportsmanship as a member of their high school’s hockey team.

• Marina McCutcheon, Springdale High School, Slippery Rock University

Recipient: Katherine Wilbert, Peters Township HS, University of Mass. Boston

• Hayley Tate, Steel Valley Senior High School, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

• Penguins Alumni Association Scholarship: $2,000

• Cecil Price III, Barack Obama Academy of International Students, Morehouse College • Madison Travaglino, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, Penn State University

Awarded to one Western Pennsylvania high school senior who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, good citizenship, school and community involvement and has shown an intense love for the game of hockey. Recipient: Jacob Kruszewski, Cathedral Preparatory School, Gannon University



Thank you UPMC for supporting our scholarships!




The Penguins Most Valuable Principal (MVP) program emphasized the value of education by honoring 16 principals from Allegheny County. In partnership with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and The Grable Foundation, this program aims to highlight the important work done over the past year by principals who demonstrated innovative learning approaches with a passion for their school, students and career.

PensPals, a series of educational booklets and worksheets, was launched by the Penguins Foundation in partnership with PPG during the summer of 2020. PensPals aims to provide learning support to children with limited technological resources by sharing science, math and arts activities that can be done at home. Approximately 3,000 hard copies of the booklets were distributed at various community events with digital versions of the worksheets also available online – ultimately striving to make learning accessible (& fun!), while sparking an interest in hockey.

Congratulations to the following Penguins MVPs: • Principal Adam Zunic, Gill Hall Elementary • Principal Justin Liberatore, McClellan Elementary • Principal Kristina Bilderback, Highcliff Elementary • Principal Dave Thomas, Fred L. Aiken Elementary • Principal Erin Crimone, NA Cyber Academy • Principal Kristin Brown, Penn Hills Elementary • Principal Kenneth Klase, St. Louise de Marillac • Principal Kevin Walsh, Barrett Elementary • Principal Debra Paurizio, Clairton Elementary • Principal Patti Camper, Arsenal 6-8 • Principal Sean Gildea, Logal Elementary • Principal Heather Johnston, Sto-Rox Upper Elementary • Principal Jason Ramsey, Foster Elementary • Principal Patricia Fusco, Harrison Education Center • Principal Molly O’Malley-Argueta, Allegheny Traditional Academy K-5 • Principal Phillip Woods, Woodland Hills High School



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Community We impact our city and region through programming, investments and partnerships that create a strong community and secure future for children and families.



HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE The NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone initiative uses the game of hockey to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. In 2020.21, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Penguins Foundation proudly celebrated Hockey is for Everyone as follows throughout the season during these dedicated months: • Black History Month – February 2021 • Gender Equality Month – March 2021 • Pride Month – June 2021

WILLIE DOCUMENTARY SCREENING In February, PPG Paints Arena opened its doors to local youth and their families for an afternoon screening of the new documentary, Willie. This complimentary event shared the impact of Willie O’Ree, a true gamechanger in our great sport and the first Black player in the NHL.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH AUCTION In celebration of Black History Month and in support of Pittsburgh I.C.E (Inclusion Creates Equality), a program committed to offering children of all socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to learn ice hockey, the Penguins Foundation held a month-long auction in February. Game-used equipment and signed items were auctioned to generate over $12,000 from our donors and fans for Pittsburgh I.C.E.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are committed to bringing diversity, equity and inclusion to not only our organization but to our entire community both on and off the ice. Tracey McCants Lewis Vice President, HR & Deputy General Counsel Pittsburgh Penguins

TRY SKATING FOR FREE In support of Hockey Day in America and through a commitment to empowering a brighter future for all, Discover Financial Services partnered with the Penguins Foundation to introduce hockey to new fans through a Try Skating for Free party with the City of Pittsburgh’s Citiparks department. This outdoor event gave families and local residents the chance to try skating for free at the Schenley Park Ice Rink.




JUNETEENTH The Penguins were proud to support the Juneteenth Youth Festival during the summer of 2021 in conjunction with the Western Pennsylvania Juneteenth Organization and First National Bank. Throughout the three-day festival, children and their parents participated in a collection of youth sports activities, including ball hockey, and had the opportunity to win Pens prizes courtesy of the Penguins Foundation.

HER HOCKEY During the month of March, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Penguins Foundation, in conjunction with the NHL, celebrated Gender Equality Month. On March 7, the organization hosted Her Hockey Day presented by 84 Lumber. This day recognized girls stepping onto the ice for the first time, the women cheering on the Penguins from home and those who are trailblazers in the NHL. In partnership with DICK’S Sporting Goods, the Penguins Foundation also hosted the Try Her Hockey for Free clinic for girls, a month-long #HerHockey social media contest and the Her Hockey Auction that featured unique Pens memorabilia, Team USA women’s items, and more in support of the Penguins Foundation’s girls hockey initiatives. This auction raised over $15,000 for the continued growth of girls hockey in the region. The Penguins and 84 Lumber also partnered to give back to a female-owned business within the community and provide her with a $25,000 EmpowerHER grant to support her business. This year’s grant was awarded to Curly Tail Coffee thanks to Penguins fans who casted over 34,000 votes. To further 84 Lumber’s efforts to lead and inspire females to thrive (LIFT), a complimentary panel discussion was held for 400+ women to connect with local leaders in our region.

Did You Know? Programs created by the Penguins Foundation in partnership with DICK’S Sporting Goods, including the Try Her Hockey for Free clinic, are making the game more accessible. Girls hockey is among the fastest-growing youth sports in the U.S. with girls’ participation growing by over 115% in Western PA over the past 15 years!

We’re hoping that these girls start out on their own hockey path and continue playing, and realize that the game of hockey is certainly one that is hers, too. Amanda Susko Sr. Director, Foundation Programs & Strategic Planning Pittsburgh Penguins




PRIDE GAME This year, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres co-hosted the NHL’s first ever joint Pride Game on April 17 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. Together, the teams celebrated the LGBTQ+ community by taping their sticks for pre-game warm-ups with rainbow Pride Tape and wearing commemorative warm-up jerseys featuring the Progress Pride Flag. Further, the teams hosted an online auction featuring Pride Tape sticks, pucks, and additional signed items from both teams, with approximately $95,000 raised. The Penguins Foundation’s Pride Game fundraising benefited the You Can Play Project and the Pittsburgh Tigers.

With a condensed schedule and limited capacities, we identified an opportunity to unite our teams to spotlight this event and the LGBTQ+ community through the national TV broadcast. As teamwork is at the heart of hockey, we have collaborated with the Sabres on every step and are proud to host this first in the NHL together.

Amanda Susko Sr. Director, Foundation Programs & Strategic Planning Pittsburgh Penguins

I think for myself, the ability to use my platform as a professional athlete and as a Pittsburgh Penguin - not only in the city but hopefully nationwide - to have my voice be heard is special. Whether it reaches one person or reaches a thousand people, if it can help somebody, that’s the goal. Bryan Rust Pittsburgh Penguins




PRIDE MONTH In June 2021, the Pittsburgh Penguins joined the LGBTQ+ community in showing that Hockey is for Everyone by joining two events: the Pittsburgh Pride Revolution March and the Pittsburgh Tigers Open Skate. On June 5, members of the Penguins organization, including Brian Burke, walked in the Pride Revolution throughout the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. Then, on June 26, the organization supported the Pittsburgh Tigers with Pride memorabilia and merchandise during their open skate and scrimmage for local members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

To the LGBTQ+ community, you are welcome in our building, you are welcome on our teams, you are welcome to come watch our games. The message is much broader than sports… If you can play and help our team win, you can play. Brian Burke President of Hockey Operations Pittsburgh Penguins



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Signature Events 33


6.6K RUN & FAMILY WALK The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Mario Lemieux Foundation hosted the 8th Annual Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6K presented by Highmark in 2020. Approximately 4,500 runners and walkers participated virtually in support of the two charities. In total, $200,000 was raised by our fittest fans.

Fans from all 50 states plus 18 countries joined in the virtual 6.6K in 2020!




HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER Held on March 29, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted their annual Hockey Fights Cancer game. The league-wide initiative aims to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Penguins players’ commemorative purple jerseys and purple-taped sticks used during pre-game warm-ups were autographed and available for auction. Thanks to our generous donors and fans, over $54,000 was raised to support UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Earlier in the season, in November 2020, the Penguins shared weekly stories to inspire hope and courage for those who have been affected by cancer to support the NHL’s traditional Hockey Fights Cancer month despite the season pause. As part of the month-long event, Coach Mike Sullivan visited virtually with cancer patients and nurses at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

These people are going through challenging times in their life, and they’re so supportive of the Pittsburgh Penguins and what we do every day, so to have an opportunity to visit with them and maybe take their mind off of some of the challenges that they’re going through on a daily basis, for me, it’s the least we can do… They’re inspiring. Mike Sullivan Head Coach Pittsburgh Penguins




MILITARY APPRECIATION GAME On April 20, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Penguins Foundation and 84 Lumber teamed up for the organization’s Military Appreciation Game. The Penguins team hit the ice in military warm-up jerseys, designed by Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese, to honor those who have served and currently serve our country. Each jersey was dedicated to one of the branches of our military, with a special patch and the branch’s motto on the back nameplate. These jerseys, along with autographed locker room nameplates from the game, were auctioned raising over $48,000 for the Friends of Pittsburgh Fisher House and the Pittsburgh Warriors. With April being the Month of the Military Child, the Penguins Foundation and 84 Lumber shared complimentary Hug-A-Heroes with 500 local military children. These customized stuffed dolls have a picture of the child’s military hero in hopes of comforting these children with some happiness and joy while their parent or guardian is serving overseas. In addition, 84 Lumber welcomed local military members and Veterans to the game with complimentary tickets. To further their military support efforts, 84 Lumber pprovided Chris Uphold, an 22-year Army Veteran with $50,000 in home renovations as a part of the Home for a Hero initiative.




PENGUINS CHARITY GAME On April 29, the Mario Lemieux Foundation and Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation hosted the 10th Annual Penguins Charity Game on AT&T SportsNet. Approximately 5,000 Penguins Charity Bags were available full of merchandise and memorabilia from local companies, vendors, and artists. Thanks to the generosity of Penguins fans, the bags raised $2.3 million with proceeds benefiting the Lemieux Foundation’s cancer research and patient care initiatives plus the Penguin Foundation’s youth programs.

Penguins Charity Bags were shipped to all 50 states & throughout Canada!



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Player Initiatives 39


CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL VISIT A holiday tradition that began in the early 1980s, the annual Penguins visit to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is truly a spirited event. This season, the team wasn’t able to physically attend due to COVID-19. Instead, players visited virtually by seeing patients through a tablet that traveled from room to room and through a Q&A session via the Dream Big Studio. The kids and their families were so happy to meet the team, share in the joy of the holidays and get advice from players such as Sidney Crosby and Jason Zucker.

I thought it was awesome. You see them in their jerseys on the ice just flying around and you think they’re superheroes out there. But when you sit there and just get to talk to them and get to know them, they’re very down-to-earth people, and it was really cool to see that. Bailey Julian Patient UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

GUENTZEL HEARTS OF GOLD Created in 2019.20, Jake Guentzel’s Hearts of Gold program celebrates children with congenital heart defects. The program began in partnership with Mended Little Hearts of Southwestern PA and expanded in 2020.21 to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Coinciding with the launch of Penguins WubbaNubs, pacifiers that come attached with a little penguin plush featuring a heart on the chest, Jake made a charitable contribution of $5,000 to UPMC and also purchased the first 100 WubbaNubs for donation.

I look forward to meeting so many fans each year through my Hearts of Gold program. I wanted to do something to stay connected and still benefit the patients at UPMC Children’s. The WubbaNubs are a great way to give our tiniest fans some comfort right now.

Jake Guentzel Pittsburgh Penguins




MOVEMBER Tristan Jarry and Bryan Rust represented the Penguins in the league-wide Movember online fundraising program to support several causes, including the fight against prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

WARM - UP JERSEY RAFFLE Throughout the season, the Penguins Foundation hosted a series of warm-up jersey raffles with the support of the Penguins players and partner Rivers Casino. In total, over $41,000 was raised to further the Foundation’s youth initiatives.



The Penguins Foundation, in partnership with Edgar Snyder & Associates, reached beyond our mission and scored a huge assist for our furry friends with the 2021 Penguins & Paws Charity Pet Calendar. The calendar features adoptable animals and the players’ own pets. Thanks to our fans, donors and animal lovers, we raised over $64,000 for Animal Friends, a local Pittsburgh shelter.

On February 20, Sidney Crosby celebrated his 1,000th career game in the NHL. To join in this milestone achievement, the Pittsburgh Penguins players met their Captain on ice during warm-ups in matching #87 jerseys. These warm-up jerseys were then auctioned to support the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation’s youth initiatives. Local artist, Cody Sabol, also created a one of a kind piece commemorating the special night, which Sidney Crosby signed. Limited edition prints of the piece were sold by the Penguins Foundation to celebrate our Captain for his momentous achievement. In total, over $160,000 was raised for the Sidney Crosby Foundation and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.



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Throughout the 2020.21 season, the Penguins organization continuously assisted those within Western Pennsylvania with a focus on the Foundation’s pillars of youth hockey, wellness, education and community. DICK’S Sporting Goods Sports Matter During warm-ups on April 24, the Penguins wore green specialty jerseys and were greeted to green locker room nameplates, raising over $23,000 to support the DICK’S Sporting Goods Sports Matter initiative, which works to keep youth sports available and active for children in every community. Additionally, the Penguins and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation presented a $25,000 Sports Matter grant to Pittsburgh I.C.E., Inclusion Creates Equality. Did You Know? Billions of dollars in funding have been cut from youth sports programs, leaving millions of students unable to play. Since 2014, DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation have pledged over $100 million dollars to give kids the chance to play through the Sports Matter initiative. Blood Drives Throughout the season, on January 8, April 14 and June 14, the Penguins hosted blood drives at PPG Paints Arena in partnership with Vitalant. Adopt-A-Child The Lady Pens purchased a variety of Christmas gifts for 11 local underprivileged children through the Adopt-A-Child program in partnership with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Milkshakes with a Meaning The Milkshake Factory and the Penguins Foundation celebrated graduates from The Neighborhood Academy at the East Liberty location by recognizing these students with Milkshake Milestones, milkshakes and a special gift bag from the Pens Foundation.




Stuff-A-Bus Hosted by 96.1KISS, Stuff-A-Bus provides people within the Pittsburgh community the opportunity to donate toys locally to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys-for-Tots initiative. Beyond the traditional toy collection, for the first-time ever, fans were able to make both monetary donations and toy donations virtually by purchasing items from the Penguins Foundation’s Amazon wish list. The Lady Pens shared their holiday spirit with a $10,000 donation to Toys for Tots. In total, 56 buses were stuffed with toys, 1,500 toys were purchased from the Amazon Wish List and over $50,000 was raised! Sensory Kit Gifts On December 3, the International Day of People with Disability, the Penguins Foundation provided sensory kits to special hockey teams within the Pittsburgh community that have players with disabilities. In total, the Foundation gifted 225 sensory kits to five different youth hockey programs. Every sensory kit included supplies that provide therapeutic support for sensory-sensitive situations, ensuring a safe space in the sport for all. Project Bundle-Up An annual tradition, Project Bundle-Up provides underprivileged youth with the opportunity to shop with the Penguins organization for the necessary items needed to stay warm during the winter. This year marked the 14th anniversary of Project Bundle-Up in partnership with DICK’S Sporting Goods and the Salvation Army. Coats, boots, gloves and winter hats were gifted to 30 kids within the Butler County area with the help of Colby Armstrong, Dan Potash, Phil Bourque and Iceburgh. Rainbow Kitchen During the holiday season, thanks to an assist from Giant Eagle, the Penguins provided Thanksgiving meals to the Rainbow Kitchen in Homestead for 100 families in need.




PPG Community Heroes Throughout the season, PPG and the Penguins welcomed local community heroes to each home game. Two special gamedays include the Salute to Essential Workers and Salute to Teachers, which welcomed 200 and 100 local heroes respectively. Alumni Veterans Event Through a fundraising event led by Ken Wregget and held at his 31 Sports Bar-Grille in Bridgeville, the Penguins Alumni raised over $26,000 for Life Changing Service Dogs for Veterans, which will cover the cost of one service dog for a local Veteran. Cake Shakes for a Cause Burgatory supported the Penguins Foundation through their Black and Gold Cake Shake promotion. With $1 per shake assisting the Foundation, over 400 shakes were sold. NHL Green The Penguins Foundation partnered with the National Aviary during Earth Month. With World Penguin Day held on April 25, the Foundation encouraged fans to support the Aviary’s Adopt-A-Bird program supporting NHL Green. Recycling Drive In partnership with PPG, a recycling drive was held outside PPG Paints Arena, which collected 48,297 lbs. of chemical waste.




UPMC Healthcare Heroes Each month in the 2020.21 NHL season, the Penguins recognized a UPMC frontline healthcare worker. The Penguins provided each frontline worker with a special gift from the Penguins Foundation and personalized thank you note from a Penguins player. Select UPMC healthcare workers were also recognized in-game as part of the PPG Community Heroes program. As part of an NHL campaign recognizing COVID-19 battling efforts, one UPMC Healthcare Hero, Darby Scarantine, received recognition alongside Sidney Crosby in the month of April when he was selected as the First Star of the Week. Additionally, the Penguins teamed up with UPMC on April 27 to host our first ever Healthcare Heroes Night, a game dedicated to honoring and thanking frontline workers in our community. Reverse Retro Jersey Raffle Fans had the opportunity to secure an autographed Reverse Retro jersey through the Penguins Reverse Retro Jersey Raffle held in June 2021. In total, $21,000 was raised for the Penguins Foundation and Mario Lemieux Foundation. The Vault In the fall of 2020, the Penguins Foundation launched The Vault online shop. Exclusive items and autographed memorabilia were available to fans throughout the country in support of the Penguins Foundation’s youth initiatives. During the season, The Vault was unlocked twice generating over $180,000. Auctions Throughout the season, the Penguins Foundation hosted additional specialty auctions to assist the organization’s youth initiatives. These included: Back to Hockey Auction ($27,000+), St. Patrick’s Day Auction ($36,000+), Fan Appreciation Auction ($62,000+), Playoff Auction ($8,000+) and the Foundation Auction ($6,000+).



Thank You! The Pittsburgh Penguins organization shares a heartfelt THANK YOU for your continued support of our efforts. Your assists help us reach our goal of building the brightest future possible for youth in our region.

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@pensfoundation info@pittsburghpenguinsfoundation.org 412.255.1952


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