Since 1998, the Bakersfield Condors have made community giving a priority and the 2016-17 season was no exception. Every year, the Condors look for more ways to be involved in helping children, supporting non-profits, encouraging education and generally being good stewards of the community. This past season, the Condors were able to raise or donate$411,922 in cash or goods to community organizations for an all-time total of $5.9 million.
In February, the players tried their hands at waiting tables during the annual Tip-A-Condor event, this season held at Temblor Brewing Company. The evening included a burger bar, juggling, a live and silent auction as well as conversation! In total, $12,300 was raised benefiting the Kern County Shrine Club.
November is National Pet Awareness Month, so this season the Condors decided to team up with TNG Energy and the SPCA do something special for the local shelter animals here in Kern County. Each player decorated one pet custom pet bowl, which was then raffled off during the Pet Awareness game. That same night the SPCA brought out some of their animals to be showcased on the concourse in hopes of finding their forever home. In total the Condors raised over $900 for the SPCA and got one special dog adopted!
During the Condors first season in the AHL they paired with the Special Olympics to create a new program called Condors Comrades. The Comrades got the opportunity to come to the Rabobank Arena for a special meet and greet with the team. While here they toured the locker room and enjoyed a pizza dinner with the players. The Comrades and team also met up again during the season, but this time it was on the Comrades turf, at the bowling alley. They enjoyed mingling while having dinner and playing a few games.
The Condors held 5 specialty Jersey Off Our Back auctions this season raising a total of $93,370 for the Condors Community Foundation, M.A.R.E, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation, Bakersfield Homeless Center, and the Active 20/30 Club.
TEDDY BEAR TOSS:
One of the most anticipated games of the season comes the Saturday after Thanksgiving when fans pack the arena ready to launch stuffed animals onto the ice in the annual Teddy Bear Toss. This season, 7,371 bears were collected bringing the all-time total to 110,872. The plush toys are donated to the United Way who in turn distributes them to 60+ local organizations that serve children.
DONATIONS, FUNDRAISERS & APPEARANCES:
The Condors also routinely donate tickets and merchandise to non-profit events in the area. This season, more than 200 organizations benefited from the Condors generosity and approximately $27,431 worth of tickets and merchandise were donated for charity events and auctions.
Although difficult to measure, the Condors strive to make a personal impact on the community with appearances to schools, hospitals and community events. Players, staff and mascots contribute many hours to make more than 200 appearances per year.
At the start of the season, the Condors decided to go even further in their efforts to support the community and launched two new in-game programs. The Veteran of the Night spotlight is a partnership with Wounded Heroes Fund to recognize a veteran at every home game by providing tickets and sharing their story on the video board.
The second program, Condors Care, rewards children who have struggled with unthinkable health issues during their lifetime. The Condors invited 3 children, and their families out to a home game during the season and gave them the ultimate VIP treatment. Participates enjoyed complimentary tickets for themselves and their family, a tour of the locker room, the chance to watch warm-ups from the player bench, and the honor of dropping the puck.
The Condors commitment to Bakersfield goes far behind providing professional sports entertainment. For 20 years, passion to giving back has been a driving force of the organization.