The Rockford IceHogs announced on Tuesday that they have once again partnered with Special Olympics Illinois for the team’s 18th Annual Jersey Auction game. The event will be held on Saturday, April 1 when the IceHogs host the Grand Rapids Griffins at the BMO Harris Bank Center at 7 p.m.
The 2017 theme features Hammy in motley, a court-jester theme associated with the spirit of April Fools' Day. Rockford’s specialty jersey is checkered with the team’s colors of red and black, and has one red sleeve and one black sleeve.
Immediately following the IceHogs and Griffins game on April 1, the team will host a live auction on the ice surface of the BMO. Fans attending the game can bid on the specialty game-worn sweaters, with all proceeds from the auction benefiting the IceHogs Charitable Foundation. Following the auction, the IceHogs Charitable Foundation will donate a portion of the jersey proceeds to Special Olympics, Illinois, as well as other local charities.
Last season, the IceHogs “Star Wars” themed jersey raised the highest donation amount in the team’s 17-year history of hosting the live auction, totaling $80,828. In 17 seasons, the IceHogs and their fans have donated a combined total of $890,069 to a variety of local charities in the Rockford area, good for an average of $52,357 per season.
Special Olympics began in Illinois with the first games at Soldier Field in July 1968 thanks to the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her peers. There are now more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics is financially sound with diverse revenue streams, a thorough annual budget process and increasing organizational revenue streams. Special Olympics Illinois does not charge athletes or their families to participate in the program.