Jr. Kings, Lions embrace major fundraising opportunity
‘Tis the season of giving, and the Los Angeles Jr. Kings and LA Lions are embracing that mantra to its fullest and want nothing more than supporters of the programs to channel that same philanthropic spirit.
Always on a sometimes unassuming – but, make no mistake, steadfast – mission to make the game more affordable for their families, both clubs were granted an enormous opportunity recently – one that’s certain to benefit their hard-working players and families, financially.
In recent weeks, several selfless supporters collaborated and issued a challenge to the organizations’ membership, generously committing to match every dollar the programs raise until the end of the calendar year (up to $30,000).
Simply but enthusiastically put, the Jr. Kings and Lions have a unique and unprecedented window to raise $60,000 over the next month. To break the ice, a family pledged an initial donation of $1,000 moving the club $29,000 away from its goal.
Raising awareness of the time-sensitive “Match Game: The Play for Sixty-K” fundraiser, says Jr. Kings executive director Kelly Sorensen, is paramount.
“This is such a rewarding opportunity that’s been put in front of us, and with that it’s imperative we receive as much support possible circulating the message to as many individuals and corporations in our social and professional networks,” said Sorensen. “It’s not often we can raise such a significant dollar amount, collectively, so we need all hands in the middle.”
Any individual or corporation interested in moving the needle towards the clubs’ goal – big or small – via a tax-free donation, can contact Sorensen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “Match Game” fundraising link can be accessed through the Jr. Kings’ website, JrKingsHockey.com.
Previous fundraising efforts have proven nothing short of successful. Over the past five seasons, the Jr. Kings have distributed over $500,000 in financial assistance to their families. In addition, the club and its teams have made significant donations towards the Uncle Kory Foundation and Tour de Pier – both of which help support cancer research – and other local charities and individuals within the program faced with personal hardships.
“It’s an element of our club we’re extremely proud of and one we hold in high regard,” said Sorensen. “We’ve witnessed so many feel-good stories over the years thanks to our ability to designate these resources to those in need.”
And a few more will unfold at the club’s annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser, which will take place on Dec. 2 at El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center – the home facility of the Jr. Kings and Lions.
At the event, where each team is afforded the opportunity to set up its own fundraising table, the Jr. Kings, thanks to a handsome donation by the Ryan Shaw Group at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, will present a $2,000 grant to one player each at the 18/16U, 14/13U, 12/11U, 10/9U and 8/7U age levels.
Selected by a committee within the club, the five players will be chosen based on their high level of character and leadership, on and off the ice, along with their need for financial assistance.
“This is what it’s all about, really,” Sorensen said of the South Bay-based realtor’s generosity. “Here’s a respected, local company that values our mission and what it instill into our young men and women and they’re showing their support in a big way. We’re extremely thankful.”
Since their inception in 1999, the El Segundo Regents (dba Los Angeles Jr. Kings) have maintained their status as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and donations by individuals are tax deductible. Corporations may even be privy to other significant tax-related benefits (up to a 50-percent deduction).
Operated by Toyota Sports Center, the Jr. Kings and LA Lions are dedicated to providing their student-athletes an unparalleled developmental experience on the ice, while also fostering their growth as socially mature, community-minded young men and women.
Through the selfless efforts of their board of directors, which champions plenty of hockey and business acumen, along with their professional, experienced coaching and administrative staffs, the Jr. Kings and Lions pride themselves on instilling the proper character and work ethic necessary for their players to succeed well beyond their youth hockey careers into their social and professional lives.
Armed with the task of meeting its fundraising goal by the end of 2018, the Jr. Kings and Lions have their sights set on seizing the opportunity to its fullest.
“The time is now for us to proudly highlight our programs and all the benefits they provide our players, on and off the ice, to individuals and corporations that are in a financial position to make a difference,” said Sorensen. “This is without question an exciting time for our clubs.”
— Brian McDonough
(Nov. 20, 2018)