Friday, 4 July 2008

Charitable Donations: Mike Modano Foundation

With today being a holiday in the United States of America, I thought it would be appropriate to feature a charitable organization started by one of America's greatest hockey players to date. Mike Modano is the most prolific American scorer in NHL history, leading the way with 528 career goals. He has been the face of the Dallas Stars' franchise since their move to Texas, and ranks first in most franchise statistics, including goals, assists, points, games played, game-winning goals, power play goals and shorthanded goals. However, the one thing that is most notably overlooked is Mike Modano's charitable work in the city of Dallas, Texas. Today, Hockey Blog In Canada is proud to present the Mike Modano Foundation.

Mission Statement: Directly from the foundation's website, "[t]he Mike Modano Foundation's mission is to raise funds to improve the quality of life for at-risk and under-served children in the Dallas, Texas area. The primary focus of the foundation is to serve children who have been abused (either physically, emotionally or both), abandoned or neglected. In addition, the Mike Modano Foundation provides funding for organizations whose purpose is to offer education to children and families suffering the devastation of abuse to help break the cycle of abuse".

How Did The Mike Modano Foundation Start?: Mr. Modano started the foundation in the summer of 2000 to help underprivileged kids in the Dallas area. Originally, Mr. Modano was raising funds for these underprivileged kids, but that all changed when he partnered with Jonathan's Place to give all kids a chance at making a better life for themselves.

Jonathan's Place is "an emergency shelter for abused, abandoned and neglected children, age newborn to 17 years. They are the only licensed emergency shelter in the area that serves children under the age of ten". Jonathan's Place "takes care of all the children’s basic needs, including food, clothing and education, and advanced needs, including medical, dental and psychological. Jonathan's Place is also a Foster Family Program - recruiting, training and certifying foster families in order to place children from Child Protective Services into their care".

That's a pretty special place for children who need a safe place to grow up, and I commend Mr. Modano for partnering with this great organization. However, Mr. Modano wasn't satisfied with being a partner, and worked to do more.

The Mike Modano Foundation helped establish the Mike Modano Infant and Toddler Cottage at Jonathan’s Place to help at risk children who "have been removed from their homes from Child Protective Services". The cottage was founded in September of 2003, and was designed to give up to 16 children under the age of six a safe place to live. Along with Pickens Cottage, designed for children between the ages of six to eleven, these cottages in north Texas are helping children escape the dangers they once faced.

The Mike Modano Foundation has also reached out to other centers in Texas to provide help. The foundation began the Mike Modano Foundation ARCH Center Endowment Fund at Children’s Medical Center. Children's Medical Center is one of the premiere pediatric hospitals in the United States, and the endowment fund "will be used to serve the patients at the At-Risk Children’s Hospital (ARCH)". The ARCH center was opened in 1999, and allows the Children's Medical Center "to provide comprehensive medical and social care for children whose needs overlap with the services offered by various programs. Made up of six clinics - REACH (Referral and Evaluation of Abused Children) Clinic, Foster Care Clinic, Low Birth Weight Clinic ARMS (AIDS-Related Medical Services) Clinic, AYA (Adolescent Young Adult) Clinic, Lead Poisoning Clinic – the ARCH center’s purpose is a natural fit with the Mike Modano Foundation mission".

In order to raise funds for the foundation, Mr. Modano hosts a celebrity baseball game each year, called the Reebok Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. This year's game actually took place on June 28, and was attended by a fellow blogger named Jen who writes The Shootout. Check out her photos and videos here! Brendan Morrow and Mike Modano played on opposing teams, but it was all for a good time, and it appears that everyone had a great time.

Clearly, Mr. Modano is working to help children throughout the Dallas area, and his work is unparalleled in that community. Along with Reebok, Mr. Modano donates eight seats at every Stars game to local charitable organizations so that local youths can watch the Stars play. That's a pretty cool thing to do, in my opinion.

How Can I Help?: Well, the foundation accepts donations, just like all the other charitable organizations seen thus far. However, they only have a snail mail address to which you can send your donation. Please address your envelope to:

The Mike Modano Foundation
PO Box 192291
Dallas, TX 75219

If you're an organization looking for funding, please click on the above link, and read through the criteria that the Mike Modano Foundation requires.

Keep your eyes on the "News & Events" section on the Mike Modano Foundation's website for other opportunities to support this excellent foundation.

If you'd like to volunteer at the Heroes Celebrity Baseball Event in 2009, please contact Lara Beth Seager at lb-dot-seager-at-heroesbaseball-dot-org.
If you'd like to sponsor the event, please contact Miss Seager above, or Mr. Charlie McKinney at charlie-dot-mckinney-at-heroesbaseball-dot-org.

The Mike Modano Foundation, the NHLPA, and the foundation's namesake, Mr. Mike Modano, are helping the communities they live in. It's time for us to help them as well.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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