Charlie Jacobs: Founder and Chairman
Bob Sweeney: Executive Director
The Foundation provides grants to organizations that meet the standards of its mission, concentrating on the following four areas where it is best able to enrich the community:
Athletic participation benefits children in many ways. It fosters physical fitness, teaches the importance of working together as a team toward a common goal, and rewards that teamwork with lessons of what can be accomplished with effort. It can enrich lives by bringing together people of diverse backgrounds with similar interests. The Boston Bruins Foundation believes that athletics teach children lessons that they will implement throughout their lives. The Foundation does not limit its athletic grants to the game of hockey; it has provided assistance to a variety of youth sports organizations whose efforts support the Foundation's mission.
One example of a program supported by the Foundation is "NHL Street," which provides schools and local community centers an athletic and educational program free of charge. The Foundation and the NHL provide street hockey equipment and conduct clinics for children ages 7-12, enabling schools and centers to expand their recreational programs while providing children an opportunity to learn and participate in a sports activity, which may be novel for many. Another program is "Skate to Educate," an elementary-based field trip program offering children the chance to learn to ice skate.
The Foundation was also a sponsor of the 2006 Mayor's Cup Youth Ice Hockey Tournament, which brought together more than 50 teams of young players from Boston's neighborhoods for a five-day ice hockey tourney. The Foundation has provided grants to other worthy organizations such as: S.C.O.R.E Boston; The Caddy Scholar Program; The Mayors Cup Roller Hockey program; First Tee Program; YMCAs of New England Street Hockey Brigades; Colonel Daniel Marr Boys & Girls Club; City Kicks (Boston Soccer Legacy Fund); Metro Lacrosse; and MGA Fore Kids Junior Golf Program.
Nothing is more important to a child's future than education, and the Boston Bruins Foundation is committed to helping children achieve academic success. The Foundation seeks to support programs that provide homework assistance and a safe learning environment to develop social and learning skills for pre-school, primary, middle school children. The Foundation endorses programs that employ unique methodologies that recognize children learn differently, as well as programs that challenge children to discover their own special talents.
The Foundation's efforts have created opportunities for Bruins management and players to visit schools and emphasize to children the importance of education. These efforts have nurtured the establishment of reading programs and assisted organizations that enhance educational opportunities for children outside the classroom. Programs supported by the Foundation that illustrate this commitment include: the MIT S.T.E.M. Outreach Program, which in 2006 enabled 74 students in Grades 6-9 from the Boston area take challenging courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; the Bird Street Community Center, which established a computer training program for children who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to learn those skills; and Jumpstart for Young Children, an organization that pairs college students with pre-school children from low-income backgrounds in a classroom setting to work on language, literacy, social and initiative skills. Patrice Bergeron from the Bruins was a shining example of a player who made a lasting impression through his school visits. A native of Quebec, Patrice visited a French Class at a suburban middle school to talk to the students in both French and English. Other worthy recipients of Foundation assistance includes: Boston Partners in Education; Facing History and Ourselves Foundation, Inc.; Girlz II Women.
Another primary focus of the Boston Bruins Foundation is the health of the children in our community. The City of Boston and the entire New England region boast some of the world's preeminent hospitals and medical centers. The Foundation's proximity to these centers enables it to assist a wide variety of health concerns and to support a variety of organizations involved in research, care and prevention of the health concerns of our children.
The Foundation often does more than just donate money to these causes; in many cases the people behind the Foundation are active participants in helping these causes. An 18-member BBF team that included Kim Jacobs, wife of team executive vice president Charlie Jacobs, and former Bruins Terry O'Reilly and Don Sweeney, cycled the 192-mile route of the three-day Pan-Mass Challenge in August 2006. They teamed with 'pedal partner' Jeff Hayes, a 17-year-old from Sandwich, MA who battled Ewing's Sarcoma, to raise over $100,000 for the Dana Farber Institute to benefit cancer research.
Jeff sadly past away this January after a long battle with cancer. As a tribute to his spirit and the connection both he and his family made during the PMC, the Boston Bruins Foundation honored Jeff and his family in game with a special in game video tribute. 900 of Jeff's Sandwich High school classmates in attendance roared as the announcement was made that the 2007 Bruins PMC team would ride in Jeff's honor.
Another 30-member BBF team including mascot Blades, the Ice Girls and player wives Siw Axelsson, Katie Murray and Astrid Sturm, participated in the six-mile "Making Strides" Breast Cancer Walk along the Boston Esplanade in October 2006, raising $x for the fight against breast cancer. The BBF Cycling Team, organized by Charlie and Kim Jacobs, has participated in three of the annual Rodman Ride for Kids cycling tours that raise money for non-profit agencies that promote healthy and positive lives for children throughout New England. The Foundation donated the monies raised in the Rodman Rides to the Daniel Marr Boys & Girls Club.
Net proceeds from the Foundation's annual major charity events, such as the Boston Bruins Wives Charity Carnival, are contributed directly to charities large and small through Foundation grants. For example, the Foundation donated a portion of the 2003 Charity Carnival proceeds to allow The Children's Room, a center that offers support for children, teenagers and families grieving the loss of a parent or sibling, to purchase a permanent home in Arlington, MA. The 2006 Charity Carnival proceeds resulted in a $125,000 contribution to the Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Floating Hospital. The foundation has also provided valuable assistance to other health-related organizations such as: The Neely House; Franciscan Hospital for Children; Joslin Diabetes Center; Easter Seals; Children's Hospital; The Ace Bailey Children's Fund; Cardinal Cushing School; Canines for Disabled Kids; The Home for Little Wanderers; and Rachel's Table.
The Boston Bruins Foundation takes to heart its mission of 'enhancing the quality of life for children in our community.' The Foundation's community outreach area extends to organizations that are dedicated to working with at-risk or troubled youth, improving the self-esteem of children and developing our leaders of tomorrow. This area assists organizations that provide after-school activities to keep youth active, while exposing them to programs outside of a classroom curriculum.
Organizations that meet this aspect of the Foundation's mission include ScoutReach, a program under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America (Boston Minuteman Council), that provides the traditional scouting program to at-risk youth from urban areas; the Cambridge Family YMCA that, through that Foundation, receives musical equipment to support a Youth All-City Choir and musical and performance art programs for children and teens in the Cambridge area; and the Boston Urban Youth Foundation that provides year-round services to high-risk truant students both during and after school as well as in summer programs. Other recipients include: Boston Police Athletic League; Camp Starfish; and the Community Advocacy Program.