On Monday, December 9, 2013 the London Knights Hockey Club was awarded the Jack Burghardt Award of Excellence.
Jack Burghardt was one of London's best known citizens and was a great friend of The Salvation Army. His acute social conscience was displayed in his concern for those who suffered from poverty, homelessness, addictions and family break-up. Jack was especially active at Christmas time chairing The Salvation Army's kettle campaign and spending a great deal of time working on the kettles. He needed to know that everyone would be taken care of at Christmas time.
Each year at the Festival of Carols, The Salvation Army presents the Jack Burghardt Award of Excellence to an individual or a company who exhibits the same spirit of generosity and kindness to others that so exemplified Jack's life. The London Knights Hockey Club has been awarded the 2013 Jack Burghardt Award of Excellence in recognition of their efforts with their annual Teddy Bear Toss as well as the ongoing support and partnership of The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign.
This season alone, the London Knights and The Salvation Army have partnered on four different events. At a home game in November, the Knights conducted a local hats and mitts drive that collected 1,641 hats, 1,064 pairs of mittens, and 218 scarves for local children during the cold winter months. Throughout December, the London Knights, TimberCreek Properties and Budweiser Gardens also partnered on a toy drive that saw games and toys donated to local children just in time for the holidays.
London Knights forward Chris Tierney kicked off the 2013 Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign giving generously at puck drop in front of a sold out Budweiser Gardens crowd. Kettles were on the concourse of Budweiser Gardens for a few games to collect from fans in attendance. Just last week, Sun Life Financial presented the 14th annual Teddy Bear Toss where 9,819 bears were thrown onto the ice after Ryan Rupert scored against Sault Ste. Marie. There have been over 85,000 bears collected through the Sun Life Financial Teddy Bear Toss since it began.
"It's a tremendous honour to receive such a prestigious award," said London Knights Director of Marketing Geoffrey Hare. "When you are recognized for not only your efforts, but for the efforts of all of your fans and supporters who have come together to do something great for the local community it's a wonderful thing. We wouldn't be receiving this award without the generous support of our fans who continue to give each time we ask. We share this award with the community of London. Thank you!"
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)