Anaheim Ducks, Lady Ducks Host Shopping Sprees for Students from The Wooden Floor

‘Tis the season for giving and the Anaheim Ducks take these words seriously when it comes to the holidays in Orange County.

A couple of weeks ago they made their annual visit to CHOC Children’s where they handed out Wild Wingers Kids Club Kits and put smiles on the faces of some very brave kids.

And this past week, the Ducks organization hosted not one, but TWO shopping sprees for the students at The Wooden Floor.

The Wooden Floor is an after-school program located in Santa Ana that uses the art of dance to break the cycle of poverty for local, low-income youth. With 375 students enrolled annually, they have found that dance education and performance can transform the way these students see themselves, leading to higher academic success, better self-esteem and an improved family life.

And most importantly, the doors open for them to attend college, something that is just a dream for many of these kids. But through The Wooden Floor, it becomes a reality. Since 2005, 100 percent of their graduates have completed high school and gone on to college, something achieved by only 35 percent of their socioeconomic peers.

To say that The Wooden Floor changes lives is an understatement. I’m a huge supporter of the arts and the impact it can have on our lives. This program reinforces my belief. I’m a big fan.

Last week, Ducks players Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano took 10 of these students to Toys “R” Us in Tustin to give them a Christmas they otherwise would not have.

The idea came from Penner, who has done this sort of giving in the past, and he asked Cogliano to join him. Penner showed up in the best ugliest Christmas sweater and hat ever, complete with music and lights. He and Cogliano grabbed a couple of carts and took the kids around the store as they picked out toys and presents not only for themselves, but also for their families. The $1,500 price tag for the day was completely paid for by the two players.

For 10-year-old, Jose Rea it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

“This is fantastic,” said the 4th grader. “I picked out some clothes and a Nerf gun. One for me and one for my brother.”

And for Jose’s mother, Angeles Castro, the shopping spree was a true blessing during what has been a hard time for them financially.

“I almost didn’t believe my husband when he told me Jose had been chosen for this event,” said Castro. “I wasn’t sure I’d have enough gas money to get here today. We didn’t have a way to buy presents this year. But we are blessed and so grateful for The Wooden Floor and the Anaheim Ducks.”

Cogliano was happy to be able to join Penner this year in the giving.

“Penner asked me if I wanted to help and this is the perfect way to give back,” said Cogliano. “I enjoyed Christmas as a kid, and I know that this shopping spree is important for these kids. It’s a good way to put a smile on their faces.”

And Penner knows that giving like this has a huge impact on these families.

“I do different things at 31 than I did at 21,” said Penner. “I know that an event like this is a big deal for these families. I’m happy to help give them a Christmas. This is what it’s all about.”

Director of Communications and Marketing at The Wooden Floor, Payal Kumar Avellan, spoke to some of the long-term effects on the students that can come from attending an event like this.

“It definitely plays into the long-term mentoring for these kids,” said Kumar Avellan. “The fact that these professional hockey players spent their own time and money on them shows them that they matter and are important.

“These kids rarely get the best. But today, they got two of the best hockey players, the best toys and the best experience. It goes a long way toward building their self-esteem. And it means they can have a Christmas.”

These 10 students walked out of the store with some gifts for under the tree, a Wild Wingers Kids Club kit, and the knowledge that they are special.

The following week, it was the Lady Ducks turn, as wives and girlfriends of the players and broadcasters had a ‘girls day” with some of the female students from The Wooden Floor and took them on a shopping spree at Wal-Mart in Irvine.

Ten girls, ages eight to 17, spent some quality time alongside the ladies, including Paige Getzlaf, Avery Lovejoy and Angela Hayward, picking out clothes and shoes for school, beauty supplies, and Christmas gifts for their friends and families.

Vanessa Mendez, a high school freshman who is in her sixth year at The Wooden Floor, was very happy for the opportunity.

“It’s exciting meeting the Lady Ducks,” said Mendez. “They’ve all been so nice and helpful as we’re trying to find gifts for our family and friends.”

Vanessa’s mother, Teresa, said she knows Vanessa was thrilled to be chosen for the shopping spree.

“I know Vanessa could hardly sleep the night before. She could use some more clothes and considers herself very blessed to be here. We couldn’t be more thankful.”

The girls each picked out several clothing items and took turns at the dressing rooms to make sure everything was a perfect fit. Overwhelmed at times with what they were being given, it was evident in their eyes that this generosity came at just the right time for them. The $2,500 spent that day on the students was funded by both the Anaheim Ducks and the Lady Ducks.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to work with and connect with the community,” said Paige Getzlaf, wife of Ducks captain, Ryan Getzlaf. “We all love to shop, but even more, we know that this event is really helping these girls.”

Much like the visits to CHOC, it’s these moments of connection with local kids that leave the most impact, not only on these students and their families, but on the fans who appreciate seeing their team support these worthy causes.

Thank you again, Anaheim Ducks, for your dedication and time spent off the ice supporting our community.

I’ve said it before; I think hockey people are some of the best people out there.

 

 

Bottom photo courtesy of Edie Layland

Anaheim Ducks ‘Reading is the Goal’ Day

At Arovista Elementary in Brea, each week starts off with a “Monday Message”, a concept that the students and staff can focus on for that week that helps not only with learning but also with building character.

This week’s “Monday Message” for the Arovista Allstars was about gratitude, and the kids had the perfect opportunity to show their gratitude this week as their school was selected for the seventh annual Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Reading is the Goal Day.

Over 20 Ducks Power Players and staff members visited the classrooms on the Pre-K through 6th grade campus to read to the kids, answer questions and show how important reading and literacy is for all ages and career paths.

“Having the Ducks organization come into the classroom and read to the kids shows them that reading continues throughout their lives,” said early elementary teacher, Mrs. Worthington. “It teaches them that reading a big part of lifelong learning.”

And what’s an Anaheim Ducks event without a little hockey, right? So during lunch recess, the kids had the opportunity to play some street hockey out on the playground. For some of these kids, it was the first time they’d picked up a stick. And from the way they clamored for their turn on the blacktop, it was evident that this was unique experience for them.

After lunch, the 4th, 5th and 6th graders gathered in the school’s multi-purpose room for an assembly hosted by Ducks television host Kent French that featured Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and forward Nick Bonino reading Brady Brady and the Twirlin’ Torpedo to the more than 250 kids.

The title is from a set of children’s books by Mary Shaw that follows the hockey-playing adventures of Brady and his team, the Icehogs.

In this story, Brady’s friend Tes joins the team, but not without some teasing from opponents who don’t think a girl should be out on the ice playing hockey. Brady and the rest of her teammates came to her defense, proving that no matter who you are, you should be able to pursue what you love.

After reading, Beauchemin and Bonino took some questions from the kids and spoke to everything from their love for hockey at a young age, to what it feels like to be slammed into the boards, to the influence their family, especially their fathers, have had on their careers.

Arovista Principal Karen VanDine could not have been more grateful for the Ducks, their time at the school and their support of literacy.

“For the kids to see these athletes come out and read to them shows how much the Ducks support literacy and reading,” said VanDine. “The message to the students is just huge.”

As a participating school in the Ducks S.C.O.R.E Program since its inception in 2005, 4th grade teacher Tammi O’Rourke knows how much the 30-day Reading is the Goal incentive program motivates the kids.

“We are kicking off the [Reading is the Goal] program here next week, and I know that after seeing the Ducks here today, the kids will be motivated,” said O’Rourke.

And as for the players who came to the school after morning practice, they were pleased to be able to help spread the word about literacy.

“I started devouring books at a young age,” said Bonino, who is an avid reader and reads at least two books a week. “I’ll read everything; fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, whatever sounds interesting. I have my Nook that I keep in my suit pocket when we’re on the road. I’ve read for so long, I love it.”

“I think it’s a great event for us to come here and show that reading is important,” said Beauchemin, who says he’s often reading to his own kids. “Maybe some of them see us play on television, but for them to see hockey players here reading to them, hopefully they will see how important it is.”

As the day came to a close, the Ducks presented Arovista Elementary with a full set of street hockey equipment, a basket of hockey-themed books for the school’s library and a framed jersey signed by the team.

So the Arovista Allstars came away that day with not only an appreciation for the Ducks and for how reading and literacy can open doors for their future, but also with the opportunity to live out their “Monday Message” of gratitude.

“We’ve been so excited to have the Ducks here today. They’ve been so generous and this event aligns perfectly with our ‘Monday Message’ to the student about gratitude,” said VanDine. “What a wonderful example to set for the kids when it comes to literacy.”

 

For more information on Reading is the Goal and the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Program, visit ducksscore.com

Anaheim Ducks Spread Some Holiday Cheer at CHOC Children’s

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” right?

And it can also be the busiest…

And the craziest…

And the most stressful.

And without fail, just when I begin to feel overwhelmed by the holidays and all of the stressful madness, I get knocked back into reality with a healthy dose of perspective.

That perspective came my way this week when I joined the Anaheim Ducks for their annual visit to CHOC Children’s, a time when the players take a few moments out of their hockey-playing schedules to spread some holiday cheer and put smiles on the faces of some brave and inspiring kids.

For many of the players, it was their first time inside CHOC’s new $560 million, 426,000 square foot Bill Holmes Tower and they were duly impressed. The seven-story addition houses critical patient services dedicated exclusively to pediatrics, such as emergency services, radiology/imaging, lab services and the CHOC Children’s Heart Institute. It makes an already fantastic facility that provides crucial services to our community even better.

Before the players headed up to see the kids, Ducks players Ben Lovejoy, Jonas Hiller and Cam Fowler stepped inside Seacrest Studios to do a segment for the hospital’s in-house radio station.

Then the team broke up into groups, and with Wild Wingers Kids Club kits in hand, they went to visit some of the kids who are spending at least part of their holiday season in the hospital.

I joined Ducks players Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry, Dustin Penner, Sheldon Souray, Nick Bonino, Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik as they donned their Santa hats and made their way to the 3rd Floor of the tower.

This was my third time attending this event and I’m always emotionally overwhelmed at how gracious and thankful the kids and families are who get a few minutes with these local hockey heroes.

Some of the kids couldn’t wait to put on their Viktor Fasth t-shirts and goalie masks from the kits. Some of the kids just enjoyed chatting with the players. And the players, especially Teemu Selanne, Sheldon Souray and Dustin Penner, were so great about engaging not only with the patients, but also with the parents, siblings and other family members who are there each day with the kids.

And even if the kids weren’t die-hard hockey fans, it didn’t matter. They were still excited to have some visitors and receive some Ducks gear. For many of these kids, the Kids Club kits provide their first exposure to hockey and the chance to attend their first game. For all of them, it was a bright spot in an otherwise challenging and isolating day.

The duration of stay for these patients ranges from just a few days to several weeks. And while they all hope to be home in time for Christmas, it was clear that their parents’ only hope this holiday was for health for their child. And if that means staying at CHOC a little longer than expected, then so be it.

I always walk away from this event with a renewed sense of perspective that is much needed during this holiday season. And it hit a little closer to home for me, as not even 48 hours after I left the hospital, the son of one of my dearest friends was admitted to CHOC for an unexpected surgery.

Within a couple of hours of his arrival, he had a Wild Wingers Kids Club kit in his hands. For a four-year-old who is about to face some pretty scary things, it was a welcomed gift that made him smile. And I know it calmed the hearts of his parents as well, even if for a moment.

So it may be a very stressful time of the year, but it’s also a time where I thankfully am forced into some moments that take my focus off of the frenzy and put it back on what matters. I have much to be grateful for, and I’m proud of the Ducks, their longstanding relationship with CHOC and all they do for the kids there who could use some extra joy this holiday season.

You can join the Anaheim Ducks during the month of December in their giving to CHOC by participating in the club’s 8th annual Kits for Kids Donation Drive. Help share the great sport of hockey and put a smile on a child’s face by donating a Wild Wingers Kids Club kit.

Visit anaheimducks.com/choc for more details and to donate online.

Anaheim Ducks Holiday Toy Drive

Looking for a way to do some giving this holiday season?

Then consider joining the Anaheim Ducks as they celebrate the holiday season by putting smiles on the faces of local kids.

At each Ducks home game before Christmas, the club will hold their annual Anaheim Ducks Toy Drive where the Lady Ducks (wives and significant others) will be collecting new and unwrapped toys, games and books to support the Spark of Love Toy Drive with the Anaheim Fire Department and ABC7.

Toy collections will take place beginning Tuesday, December 3 as the Ducks host their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Kings, at Honda Center, and also at home games on December 9, December 11 and December 15.

Each person that donates a toy at a game will receive a raffle ticket for the chance to win a 2013-14 Ducks team autographed stick that will be given away at each of the four Toy Drive games.

Not able to make any of the games before Christmas? Fans will also have the opportunity to donate toys at all RINKS locations or the new Ducks Team Store.

Just bring your new and unwrapped toy, book or game to any of the seven RINKS locations (Anaheim ICE, Corona Inline, Huntington Beach Inline, Irvine Inline, Lakewood ICE, Westminster ICE, Yorba Linda ICE) or the Ducks Team Store at Honda Center and receive a 2-for-1 public skating pass good at any of the RINKS locations.

Also, head over to Anaheim ICE on Wednesday, December 18 as the Ducks alumni will be on hand to host a Holiday Toy Drive Skate Party.

So if you’re headed out to Honda Center or the RINKS over the next few weeks, bring along a toy and help brighten the season for children in our community. It’s also a great way to involve your own kids in the giving process.

During a time that is often too busy and filled with too much stuff, taking some time to shift the focus can be as rewarding for the giver as it is for the receiver.

Honda Center’s New Grand Terrace

As the Anaheim Ducks celebrate their 20th anniversary this season, Honda Center too is celebrating their 20th year, and with that, the unveiling of a new $20 million, 15,000 square foot expansion, the first of its kind since the building opened its doors in 1993.

With two enormous state-of-the-art screens, Wolfgang Puck’s new restaurant (set to open later this fall), and the new Ducks Team Store Powered by Reebok, fans will have a completely new experience as they approach the entrance to the building.

Above the entrance plaza is the Grand Terrace, a restaurant/bar/patio area that fans, and concertgoers, can enjoy before they attend their event.

I’ve been able to visit the Grand Terrace restaurant and patio a couple of times this season, and while it’s accessible only to season ticket holders who purchase access, it’s a fantastic space that makes for a unique hockey-going experience.

On Opening Night, I sampled some of the food inside the restaurant alongside Juan Flores with the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau. (You can read his thorough review of the restaurant here.)

I was particularly fond of the Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin, one of the many “Big Share” items on the menu that is large enough for a couple of people to enjoy. And the mac ‘n cheese that came with the smoked BBQ ribs was amazing. There’s a sushi bar as well, and while I’m not a fan of sushi, Juan said he really enjoyed the Honda Center Rolls.

I visited the Grand Terrace again last week when the Ducks took on Vancouver, and this time, my husband and I sat out on the patio. We tried the fry basket (with bacon salt and truffle crème fraiche) and the margherita stone fired pizza. Both were delicious.

The finishes and furnishings are high-end, and the serving staff was great. The Ducks Live team from Fox Sports West has even taken a permanent spot out on the patio where they will broadcast before and after each Ducks home game.

But my favorite part about this addition is the space itself. I’m a firm believer in the concept that the built environment has a huge influence on how we process experiences, and that how a space is designed can influence whether we have positive or negative reactions.

And I don’t think you can have a more positive experience before a hockey game than to sit on the Grand Terrace patio, with its couches, fire pits, bar and great food and watch the sun set over Orange County in the background.

The new Team Store is just as impressive, over three times the size of the old store, and with plenty of great items, including several throwback products celebrating the club’s 20th anniversary.

It was so crowded on Opening Night that I had to come back another time to be able to take it all in without the crowds. And I can see why it’s been so popular, as this shiny new space is a merchandise dream for fans of the Ducks.

In addition to all of the unique products for sale, the store features graphics and images in a timeline format along the ceiling space that highlight the many milestones of the team over the past 20 years. There’s also a Stanley Cup replica engraved with the names of the 2007 championship team and interactive video touch screens where fans can watch and listen to highlight clips of the Cup celebration.

As I typically do, I enjoyed the details of the space, things like the player-used sticks that line the ceiling, pointing to the Stanley Cup replica. And the Anaheim Ducks Foundation Wall that features personalized pucks that fans had the opportunity to purchase last spring. It didn’t take me long to spot the puck my mom had purchased and it’s a great feeling to have my family represented there.

In spite of their rough road trip, the Ducks are still near the top of the Pacific Division and Western Conference, so you won’t want to miss their upcoming home games, starting Wednesday night when they host the New Jersey Devils.

I think the upgrades to Honda Center are successful (and much needed) in that they provide an inviting, comfortable way to expand the game experience beyond the arena seats. If you have the opportunity to visit the Grand Terrace, take it, and enjoy a unique way of experiencing hockey in SoCal.

And with the holidays upon us, you’ll want to stop by the new Team Store to do some of your holiday shopping. I know I will. And maybe I’ll pick up a few things for myself as well…..

For upcoming schedule and ticket information and promotions, visit anaheimducks.com/tickets

Go Ducks!!

Giveaway: Anaheim Ducks Die Hards Membership Kit

The Anaheim Ducks return tonight to Honda Center following their longest road trip of the season, an eight-game, 15-day East Coast swing that saw them visit two countries as they played eight different contests against Eastern Conference teams.

Injuries aside, it was highly successful, as the Ducks come home with a 5-2-1 record on the trip and an overall record of 12-3-1 and 25 points, good enough for the top spot in both the Pacific Division and the league.

Yes, you read that right. Tops in the league. Just wait until this team gets healthy….

As they return for a quick three-game homestand before hitting the road again, what better way to support this team than to join the Anaheim Ducks Die Hards?

The team’s Official Booster Club, the Die Hards are back with membership kits for the Anaheim Ducks “super fan” in your house. Led by the Die Hards Advisory Committee of Terri Ticer (Events Liaison), Ann Marie Hull (Game Day Liaison), Jennie Schueller (Treasurer) and Karen Sheffield (VIP Liaison), this year’s kit offers some awesome items commemorating the club’s 20th Anniversary, as well as invitations to exclusive events.

Your $50 membership includes:

20th Anniversary Jersey Sleeve Blanket

20th Anniversary Mighty Ducks/Anaheim Ducks Reversible Beanie

Captain’s Series Bobblehead Set, featuring Ryan Getzlaf and Paul Kariya Bobbleheads (a third Scott Niedermayer Bobblehead is available for purchase at the Team Store to complete your Captain’s Series)

Die Hards Keychain made from 2012-13 Honda Center Playoff Glass

Ducks Third Jersey Mouse pad

Die Hards Membership Card

Invitation to Two Die Hards Road Trips
—Thursday, December 5 – Sunday December 8 to Chicago and St. Louis as the Ducks take on the Blackhawks and the Blues
—Saturday, January 25 as the Ducks take on the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium at part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series

Invitation to Exclusive Die Hards Skate Party, Sunday, December 29 at Honda Center

Invitation to Watch Parties, Volunteer Events and the End of the Year Party

Membership Benefits to places such as Hockey Giant, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, Knott’s Berry Farm, SpeedZone and more.

In addition, at each Ducks home game you can find the Die Hards outside Section 214, where they offer “Puck for a Buck”, a chance for fans to purchase raffle tickets for $1 towards the opportunity to win a puck autographed by a Ducks player. All proceeds from this and all sales and fundraising activities benefit the Anaheim Ducks Foundation.

The Die Hards also offer some great volunteer opportunities and loyalty rewards with the chance to earn points towards great prizes, such as Ducks team signed jerseys and sticks, through their VIP Program.

And my favorite part about this group is their outreach to our community, specifically their support of CHOC Children’s. I joined them for the third time last month as the Die Hards participated in the 23rd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort.

Behind the great work of Die Hards Treasurer Jennie Schueller, close to 50 dedicated Ducks fans raised almost $9,000 and got up before the sun to join 16,000 walkers in raising $1.8 million to support the care, family services, education and research that CHOC provides for the children in our region. Even though it’s an early day, I’m always so touched by this event and am proud to join my fellow Ducks fans in supporting such a vital part of our community.

These memberships are sure to sell out, so order yours today by either visiting ducksdiehards.com to purchase and pick up at Section 214 at Honda Center during any Ducks home game, or just stop by Section 214 and purchase your kit on the spot. And be sure to connect with the Die Hards through social media via their Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Even better, how about entering here to win a membership? The Ducks have been generous enough to provide us here at When Girls Love Hockey with one (1) Die Hards Membership Kit for a lucky winner. Just leave a comment below to enter by Monday, November 11, 2013 at 9:00pm and I’ll pick a winner via random.org.

And don’t forget to plan a visit to Honda Center this week to cheer on our 1st place Ducks! Click here to purchase tickets.

Good Luck and Go Ducks!!

This contest is now closed.

Congratulations to Pierre and thank you all for entering!

Go Ducks!!

 

Anaheim Ducks Die Hards 2013 CHOC Walk

One of my favorite things about the arrival of fall, besides all things pumpkin and the start of the Anaheim Ducks hockey season, is participating in the CHOC Walk in the Park.

This will be my third year participating and I can’t wait to get out there and join my fellow Ducks fans with the team’s booster club, the Die Hards, for the 5K walk through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks this Sunday, October 13.

Last year, more than 16,000 people gathered to walk the route at the crack of dawn and raising over $1.8 million in support of Orange County’s only freestanding Children’s Hospital.

The Anaheim Ducks have had a longstanding relationship of support with CHOC Children’s, through events and fundraisers each season like CHOC Night at Honda Center and the Lady Ducks Fashion Show along with a presence at the hospital at the Anaheim Ducks Wing in the 3rd Floor Oncology Unit.

This year, the Ducks Die Hards have a goal of raising $15,000 to support CHOC and help ensure that the kids in our community and beyond continue to get the best healthcare treatment possible.

And personally, this year I will be walking in honor of a neighbor of mine, 3 month old Emilee Rose.

She was born in July with a severe heart condition, a coarctation of the aorta, which required her to undergo open-heart surgery at just three days old.

It was a terrifying and faith-stretching time for Emilee’s family, as procedures like this at such a young age come with many risks. They were surrounded in prayer and support by their extended family, friends and neighbors, and even those who didn’t know the family personally, but had heard of Emilee’s story.

The amazing surgeons and staff at CHOC operated on her tiny heart, no bigger than the size of a walnut, corrected the issue with her aorta and saved her life. Nothing short of a miracle from God, I am absolutely certain.

I know the family has a hard time finding the words to express how grateful they are to CHOC for their part in giving their sweet baby girl another chance at life.

And their story is just one of many, as witnessed by the signs, t-shirts and balloons that make their way through the Disneyland Park each year in honor of the children, families and lives that CHOC has touched.

If you’d like to support me as I walk for Emilee in this year’s CHOC Walk and feel led to make a donation to our Anaheim Ducks Die Hards team, click here for my personal page and select “Donate Now”.

Thank you!! Go CHOC!! Go Ducks!!

Giveaway: Anaheim Ducks Wild Wingers Kids Club Kit

Anaheim Ducks hockey is here!

The Ducks are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season, and it’s sure to be a good one. The team kicks off their season on the road October 2 against the Colorado Avalanche and then heads to Minnesota and Winnipeg before coming back to Orange County for their Home Opener at Honda Center on October 10.

As we typically do here at When Girls Love Hockey, we like to highlight all that the Ducks provide for kids and families who enjoy following the team and the sport. And one of my kids’ favorite things about the start of a new hockey season is the Wild Wingers Kids Club.

This year’s captain is Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth.

The Swedish sensation became a fan favorite when he burst onto the scene last year, his first season in the NHL, and posted a 15-6-2 record with an 8-0-0 start and four shutouts. He’s the first goaltender in club history to win his first eight decisions as a Duck.

This season’s kit includes some fun things, including a nod to the Mighty Ducks and the club’s 20th anniversary, and items that highlight Fasth as the Kids Club Captain.

Here’s a list of what you’ll get for a very reasonable $25 per kit:

• One (1) FREE ticket voucher to a select 2013-14 Anaheim Ducks Home Game. Voucher can be used as credit towards any seat with the TICKET UPGRADE OPTION.
• Viktor Fasth Jersey T-Shirt
• Viktor Fasth Jersey Lunchbag
• “Think Fasth” Foam Goalie Mask
• 20th Anniversary Velcro Wallet with Member ID Card
• Wild Wingers Kids Club 12-Month Wall Calendar
• Free Hot Dog and Drink for One (1) Ducks Home Game
• Invitation to the Wild Wingers Kids Club VIP Skate Party at Honda Center
• Invitation to the Wild Wingers Kids Club Party at Boomers! Irvine
• Invitation to the annual Wild Wingers Kids Club End of the Year party at Knott’s Berry Farm, featuring an autograph session with Kids Club Captain Viktor Fasth, Wild Wing, and several other Anaheim Ducks players.

With the addition of a Member ID Card this season, just show your card for discounts at places like:

• Knott’s Berry Farm
• Discovery Science Center
• Soak City
• San Diego Zoo/Wild Animal Park
• Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific
• Boomers! Irvine
• Santa Ana Zoo
• Hockey Giant
• The Anaheim Ducks Team Store
• Various Ice/Roller Rinks in Southern California

Plus, as always, Wild Wingers Kids Club Members will be automatically entered into a drawing each week for great prizes such as Zamboni rider, Honorary Duck and more.

Before the boys left for Colorado, I caught up with Fasth and asked him what he thought about his very important role as Kids Club Captain.

“It means a lot to me,” said Fasth of his new role. “For kids, that’s where hockey first starts. As a kid, I was always a fan of goalies and I enjoyed watching the older players play. It’s inspiring. And it’s very important for us as players to give something back and be a role model for these kids.”

During one of the Ducks preseason games at Honda Center, Fasth was outside Section 214 at the Kids Club counter, interacting with fans and signing autographs.

“It was cool. It was nice to meet all the people. They’re as excited as we are for the season, so I think it’s going to be fun.”

As far as favorite items in the kit, he’s the most fond of the Fasth foam goalie mask (of course) and the jersey lunchbag. He thinks his daughter will especially like that.

And Fasth is looking forward to the End of the Year Party at Knott’s Berry Farm, where he and several other Ducks players will be on hand to interact with fans and sign autographs.

“They mean so much to us,” Fasth said of the fans. “And we really appreciate their support.”

And just like the fans, the players are more than ready to get the regular season started.

“It’s been a long summer. We’re excited,” said Fasth. “We’ve got some unfinished business to take care of,” he said with a smile.

The Wild Wingers Kids Club Kits are on sale now. These are always such a great value and the perfect way to get your kids connected with this team and this great sport.

Just visit wildwingerskidsclub.com to place your order. Use Promo Code: FASTH before October 10 and receive $5 off.

Or, if you’d like the chance to win one, the Ducks have generously given me one Wild Wingers Kids Club Kit to give away here on the blog. To enter, just leave a comment below before 9:00pm, Monday, October 7, 2013 and I’ll pick a winner via random.org.

Good luck!

#ThinkFasth and Go Ducks!!

 

This giveaway is closed.

Congratulations to Ayers mom!

And thank you all for entering!

 

Images from the Anaheim Ducks Caravan

Anaheim Ducks players, announcers, Power Players, fans and staff piled into the OC Cruiser and hit the road last weekend for the #DucksCaravan, with stops throughout Orange County to help kick off the club’s 20th anniversary season.

First stop was Irvine Spectrum. Anaheim Ducks Sheldon Souray, Frederik Andersen and Sami Vatanen fielded questions from hosts Kent French and Brian Hayward before spending some time hanging with the fans.

They signed autographs, posed for photos, took some slap shots and handed out Ducks-themed sweet treats to those fans who had gathered in the Giant Wheel Courtyard.

Ducks t-shirts and sunglasses were distributed to the fans as well. And those who were up on their Ducks trivia won tickets to that night’s preseason contest against the Colorado Avalanche.

Eight lucky fans were along for the ride in the OC Cruiser, winners of social media contests held by the Ducks throughout the week leading up to the event.

Next stop was Fashion Island where fans had gathered near Bloomingdale’s awaiting the arrival of the caravan.

At this location, Luca Sbisa, John Gibson and Peter Holland mingled with fans. Sbisa answered questions about how he spent his summer, his injury and how he hopes to join his teammates back on the ice soon.

Wild Wing was on hand too, up to his usual mischief.

The OC Cruiser then headed back to Honda Center, where Sbisa took some more questions from Kent French outside of the arena and then fans filed inside for the 5:00 pm puck drop.

I think the more events like this, the better. I’ve always felt that in this market, one of the things that differentiates our pro hockey team from other pro sports is the accessibility of the players.

When the players can get out into the community and engage one-on-one with the fans, it makes the hockey experience that much richer. And when fans can spend some time getting autographs and photos with some of their favorite NHLers, they feel like they have more of a connection with the team.

I’d love to see this type of thing happen on a regular basis, to kick off the season or maybe even the start of the playoffs. There’s just nothing like seeing a kid’s eyes light up when he comes face to face with one of his hockey heroes.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for preseason to be over. Bring on the games that count! Drop the puck!

Go Ducks!!

Anaheim Ducks Caravan to Transform Orange County into ‘Ducks County’

Hey Orange County!

Are you ready for Anaheim Ducks hockey?

The 2013-14 NHL season is upon us, and this year, the Anaheim Ducks are celebrating their 20th anniversary.

They will kick off the regular season on the road October 2 at Colorado and head back to Honda Center after a three-game road trip for their October 10 Home Opener against the New York Rangers.

But preseason games are happening now, and as the Ducks are getting warmed up for the season, they are getting their fans ready as well as they host the Anaheim Ducks Caravan this Sunday, September 22 and transform Orange County into “Ducks County”.

The “OC Cruiser” will be hitting the road, with Ducks players, announcers, Wild Wing and Power Players, and making three planned stops in OC throughout the day.

First stop will be at Irvine Spectrum. Fans should head over to the Giant Wheel Courtyard by about 12:30pm for Q&A sessions, interactive hockey games, giveaways and Duck-themed sweet treats.

Then follow the caravan as it makes its next stop in “Ducks County” at Fashion Island, near the Bloomingdale’s lawn at about 2:30pm.

The “OC Cruiser” will arrive for its last stop at Honda Center by about 4:00pm, which will get fans there in plenty of time for the Ducks 5:00pm preseason tilt against the Colorado Avalanche.

So what better way is there to get geared up for the 20th anniversary season of Ducks hockey than to put on your jersey and support your favorite hockey team by joining them as they caravan around Orange County?

For those active on social media, have your smart phones ready to document the adventure using the hashtag #DucksCaravan.

And don’t forget to print out your Ducks Caravan Passport to bring along for the ride. Attend all three stops of the Caravan, get your passport stamped and then bring it to Section 214 inside Honda Center and receive a 20th Anniversary Commemorative Teemu Selanne Print.

Hope to see you out there this Sunday!

Go Ducks!!

 

 

**Photos courtesy of the Anaheim Ducks