The Chicago Wolves announced Thursday that the American Hockey League has honored the organization with the league’s 2019-20 Community Service award for the Western Conference.
“It is always a goal and a priority for this organization to be a positive force throughout the Chicago area and we are fortunate to have so many fans willing to share their time, energy and money to make good things happen,” said Wolves senior vice president Courtney Mahoney. “Whether they’re joining us for fundraising events such as Stick It To Breast Cancer, providing forever homes for dogs as part of our Adopt-A-Dog Nights, purchasing game-worn commemorative jerseys or participating during in-game events such as Teddy Bear Toss, our fans do so much for Chicago Wolves Charities and the local charities who benefit from CWC.”
Since founding the franchise in 1994, the Wolves have raised more than $6 million for Chicago Wolves Charities and distributed the donations to local charities that make a difference across Chicago and the suburbs. Mahoney heads CWC as well as the Wolves’ Community Relations department that features senior director of creative services Dan Harris, senior coordinator of community relations Anthony Domalewski, community relations coordinator Bailey Goldberg and mascot coordinator Andrew Wenz.
The Wolves host several social events each year — including favorites Stick It To Breast Cancer, Get Fed By The Wolves, Brews & Bites and Wine Tasting — that bring players and fans together to raise money for worthy causes.
Wolves players also volunteer extensively as part of the team’s community outreach program. Sometimes these appearances at hospitals, schools and service events lead to relationships treasured equally by the players and the people they meet.
In February, goaltender Oscar Dansk and forward Lucas Elvenes visited Lurie Children’s Hospital and met a 17-year-old, Angelo, undergoing treatment to fight bone cancer. Dansk and Angelo made a connection and, within a month, Dansk hosted Angelo’s family of nine for a pair of Wolves games and visited their Norwood Park home twice in order to enjoy their company further.
“I was just really taken about how amazing their family is – how big and diverse,” Dansk said. “They go through a lot and I give a lot of credit to their parents (Denise and Kurt), but also the brothers and sisters who are all very tight and seem to have a lot of fun together. I certainly had a lot of fun hanging out with them.”
The Wolves’ long-running projects also continue to make a positive impact. On Feb. 1, the team’s Adopt-A-Dog program reached a milestone with its 1,500th successful adoption. Since 2002, the Wolves have hosted Adopt-A-Dog Nights one Saturday per month at Allstate Arena to make it easy for Wolves fans to provide forever homes for worthy dogs.
The Wolves’ Community Relations department launches new charitable initiatives each year in order to fulfill its mission to help as many Chicagoans as possible. To learn more about what the Wolves have in store for the 2020-21 season, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.