The community that brings Gillette’s mission to life extends far beyond the walls of our hospital and clinics. Every day, our partnerships with businesses and organizations throughout Minnesota and the US boost Gillette’s reach and impact in countless ways.
Building Teamwork and Empathy through Fundraising
Blaze Credit Union – formerly known as Hiway Credit Union – sponsors a youth hockey fundraising initiative called Blaze Hockey Kids4Kids. The program channels the power of teamwork and the fun of hockey into a fundraiser with big impact and big heart.
Blaze Hockey Kids4Kids encourages youth hockey players in Minnesota to use the teamwork and leadership skills they practice on the ice to come together and raise funds for Gillette patients. Each participating team is encouraged to come up with their own creative fundraising ideas that promote teamwork, empathy, and community involvement.
“Hockey Kids4Kids was created in collaboration with the Minnesota Wild to help young athletes understand that they are never too young to start giving back,” explains Dave Boden, President/Cheif Transformation Officer for Blaze Credit Union. “Year after year, we are inspired by youth hockey players and teams throughout the State of Hockey that raise funds in support of kids being treated at Gillette Children’s for bone, brain and movement conditions. The impact of Hockey Kids4Kids has exceeded our wildest expectations and we thank every player, coach, team manager and parent who has given their valuable time and efforts to support Gillette Children’s.”
Kids Helping Kids through Hockey
Coach Mike Nelson and the Roseville Bantam B1 hockey team he leads are multi-year Hockey Kids4Kids participants. “This program helps our kids understand the privilege of playing hockey,” he says. “At the same time, the team-bonding that happens through Blaze Hockey Kids4Kids opens our players’ eyes to the importance of helping people whenever you’re able to.”
Since Blaze Hockey Kids4Kids began, dozens of teams and hundreds of youth hockey players have raised over $130,000 for Gillette. In 2023 alone, 15 Minnesota youth hockey teams raised $28,000. All participating teams and invited to a special skate party at Xcel Energy Center, and teams that raise $500 or more are entered into a drawing for a prize package from another Gillette partner: the Minnesota Wild. The winning team will enjoy a Minnesota Wild game in a suite, a meet-and-greet with Wild players and mascot, and Wild memorabilia.
"It is so encouraging to know the dual impact of the Blaze Hockey Kids4Kids program,” says Stephen Bariteau, Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President, Philanthropy at Gillette. “First, Gillette Children’s patients and their families are receiving top-notch care funding, in part, by funds raised through this effort. Second, our hockey youth are learning and modeling the joy of giving back to help others. Thank you Blaze Credit Union and Hockey Kids4Kids!"
To learn more about the Blaze Hockey Kids4Kids program and to register your team, visit https://www.hockeykids4kids.org/.