The Nashville Predators have been a dedicated supporter of fighting hunger and feeding hope in the Nashville community for many years, and the NHL All-Star weekend was no exception. As the team unrolled the red carpets for the best and the brightest of the NHL, the team also rolled up their sleeves to take part in the 2016 NHL All-Star Legacy Project.
On Friday morning, with the help of the Nashville Predators, the NHL and League partner McDonald’s, the NHL All-Star Legacy Project was unveiled, giving 30,000 square feet of newly renovated space to Nashville Inner City Ministry, a Second Harvest Partner Agency, as part of the 2016 NHL All-Star Legacy Family Life Center.
“We always like to leave something behind,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “While it’s great to come here for the weekend and celebrate and enjoy the hospitality, we want the community to know that we really enjoyed our time here, respected our time here and wanted to leave something behind that would make a difference.”
One-third of the 90,000-square foot facility in Nashville was renovated to better service the community, including the donation of new furniture, technology and interior design featuring NHL All-Star and Predators branding. In total, eight rooms were transformed, including the pantry, with shelves filled thanks to assistance from McDonald’s, as well as Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, plus two classrooms complete with new furniture, smartboards and storage areas.
“There’s such a positive energy in the city of Nashville, and to see it here at Nashville Inner City Ministry, the positive images all around the walls, the messages they’ve put all throughout the buildings, it’s so wonderful to walk through,” Kristen Laviolette, board member of the Nashville Predators Foundation and wife of Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s a happy place and we hope that just sheds right through the families that will be coming here for years and years to come and that it will spread wonderful things in the city of Nashville.”
Preds defenseman Roman Josi, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin were also on hand to help dedicate the facility, which will help to serve more than 4,000 youth and their families each year in the Nashville area.
“It’s awesome to do something for the community and actually see the impact after it’s complete,” Josi said. “It shows how well represented the Predators are in the community and how much the Preds do in the community. The All-Star Game [Legacy Project] is a great thing to show the hockey world and get more advantages for the community.”
A special thank you to the NHL for taking time to leave Nashville better than they found it and to our friends at the Nashville Predators for their continuous support of our community.