The Penguins have been a mainstay in Pittsburgh’s professional sports scene since 1967 and have been one of the most successful sports organizations over the last 30 years, amassing 5 Stanley Cups since 1990. In addition to being champions on the ice, the Penguins strive to become champions in the community through their nonprofit foundation, which was founded in 2010.
Mission: To be the champions of all youth in our community, on and off the ice, through the power of hockey.
The Penguins established 4 Pillars to address through its foundation: Wellness, Education, Youth Hockey and Community.
COOL Zone (Children Overcoming Obstacles & Limits Zone): With the support of the Penguins Foundation, the COOL Zone was developed by the Matilda Theiss Early Childhood Behavioral Health Program. It’s an igloo shaped space that is used as an intervention behavioral health evaluation program for kids ages 3-12. Since 2015, the COOL Zone has provided mental health services to over 340 children across 6 locations within the Pittsburgh area.
PensFit: Since 2012, the program has offered free floor hockey equipment to over 650 elementary schools across 10 counties. The program has helped over 180,000 children since its inception.
Military Appreciation: The Penguins Foundation shows its appreciation to the military veterans and honors their services through a variety of ceremonies and activities. Every season, 10+ hometown heroes are formally welcomed to the game prior to the national anthem. Additionally, for Veterans Day, the Penguins share a game day practice with selected Veterans.
Virtual 6.6k: The Penguins typically hold an annual run, but due to restrictions in 2020, they held a virtual run from July 15-August 31st. Participants came from all 50 states and 18 countries, and participated by running, walking and biking. The event was used as a way to raise money for the Penguins Foundation and Mario Lemieux Foundation, and saw over $200,000 in funds raised from the event.
Project Power Play: This program was made with the growing popularity of hockey in the tri-state area in mind. With help from their partners, Highmark, the goal of this program is to afford young players access to newly built multi athletic facilities. As of 2019, the program saw 15 completed hockey rinks, and 4,000 new players been introduced to the sport.
Holiday Programs: During the months of November and December, the Penguins utilize their platform to spread joy in the Pittsburgh community. Since the early 1980s it has been a tradition for the Penguins to visit the UPMC Children’s Hospital and engage with children and the families. Additionally, the Penguins collaborate with the U.S Marine Corps to hold an annual toy drive.
Heads Up Pittsburgh: The Penguins have partnered with UPMC Sports Medicine to create a first of its kind program, offering free baseline concussion testing and education to young athletes, parents and coaches. Since 2010, the program boasts: 24,000 funded baseline tests, over 50,000 parents, coaches and referees educated on concussion prevention, and 31 participating sports. In 2020, the Penguins Foundation gave program participants access to over 2,000 tests.
Grants: The Penguins Foundation has handed out grants every season since 2012. With funds raised from their 50/50 Raffle, the organization donates proceeds to other nonprofits at the beginning of February, and after the conclusion of regular season games.