GAB: Gladiators give to charity

Gladiators give to local charity

DULUTH — In the wake of clinching the team’s seventh playoff berth, the Gwinnett Gladiators have joined fans to raise more than $78,000 for local charities in North Georgia through various annual team fundraising initiatives like “Pink in the Rink,” “Big Wheel Rally,” a specialty jersey auction and “Fed by the Gladiators.”

The Gladiators annual Pink in the Rink event was successful, raising more than $10,000 for local cancer related causes through ticket sales and sales of commemorative team merchandise raising an additional $1,000.

The fifth annual Big Wheel Rally took place during the final regular season on March 16-17 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Presented by the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays and Associates, pledges and donations resulting from the three-day, two-game charity event brought in more than $32,000.

The annual specialty jersey auction raised more than $37,000. Featuring a St. Patrick’s Day theme, 24 jerseys netted a minimum of $1,000 each during a live postgame auction with Nikita Kashirsky’s game-worn No. 17 bringing in the highest bid of $2,500.

On March 20, the Fed by the Gladiators event was held at the historic Northwoods Country Club in Duluth. Gladiators players served as waiters for the privately catered event, which included an auction of the players’ autographed T-shirts donned for the dinner service. The event netted more than $9,000.

Funds raised through the charitable events during March will benefit the Sport of Giving, Keep Georgia Safe and the Gladiators Foundation for Kids. The Gladiators for Kids fund is managed by the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, a 501c3 charitable organization based in Duluth.

In addition, the Gladiators also generated proceeds during other fundraisers over their six-month regular season with a grand total of $197,000.

Since the inaugural 2002-03 season, the combined investment by Gladiators to the greater Atlanta, Gwinnett County and North Georgia communities is estimated at more than $1.7 million.

First-round action in the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday; 2:05 p.m. April 8; and 7:05 p.m. April 9.

G-Braves support cancer awareness

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Gwinnett Braves and the American Cancer Society are asking volunteers to support cancer awareness and research at Run to Make a Difference at 8 a.m. April 14 at Coolray Field.

The community 5K and one-mile family fun run encourages people of all ages to get moving to lower the risk of cancer in their lives. The race begins with registration at 7 a.m. followed by the 5K at 8 a.m. and family fun run at 8:10 a.m. Runners will meet in the Coolray Field parking lot and run the loop around the field’s baseball diamond.

Family activities will also be offered, including inflatables and an appearance by Gwinnett Braves mascot, Chopper. An awards ceremony will begin after the race, honoring the day’s winners.

Registration fees are $30 for individuals and families and $20 for running clubs. Each participant’s registration includes a free race T-shirt, tickets to the April 14 Gwinnett Braves game at 7 p.m. and an invitation to participate in the pre-game parade at 6 p.m.

All participants must register by 5 p.m. Friday. Event proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society’s Gwinnett Relay for Life.

For more information, visit www.georgiarunner.com or contact Kevin McQuilken at the American Cancer Society at 770-814-0123 or kevin.mcquilken@cancer.org.

Gwinnett Gab appears Thursday and Sunday.