Connect with us
Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers, charity, in the zone

BIZ

The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation has stepped up its Fundraising Efforts During COVID-19

Henrik and Therese Lundqvist founded the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF) in 2014. On its website, the foundation defines its mission statement as:

“The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation, through its fundraising efforts and community outreach, strives to create positive change in the lives of children and adults throughout the world through healthcare and education services.”

For the past six years, the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation has followed up those words with action in many ways. In March, Henrik and Therese Lundqvist donated $100,000 to the Food Bank for New York City, which provided 68,000 meals for 8,000 kids and their families in New York City.

In any other year, Henrik would have attended an event like the 9/11 Charity Day, in-person but because of the pandemic, he has attended these events online. Henrik, who is known as “the King” to Rangers fans, has earned every ounce of recognition he has received during his NHL career, but it is HLF’s Young Ambassadors (HLFYA) who deserve equal recognition for the charitable work they have done during the pandemic.

The Young Ambassadors Program

The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation launched its Young Ambassadors program in 2015. According to the foundation, “more than 50 young men and women have participated in the program who have raised $100,000” for the foundation.

Young men and women who are between the ages of 12 and 18 can apply for the program. Each Young Ambassador is required to complete an independent service project. Many of the independent service projects Young Ambassadors have carried out this year have been very successful at achieving their fundraising goals.

In August, A Young Ambassador named Connor raised $6,000 to support the Homeless and Traveler’s Aid Society’s (HATAS) “Feed and Read” program. The funds that Connor raised helped bring nutritious meals and books to at-risk children in Albany, NY.

Meanwhile, a Young Ambassador named Nathan thought of patients sick with COVID and their loved ones for his project. In September, Nathan raised over $2,300 to donate iPads to COVID patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Finally, a Young Ambassador named Cara created a fundraiser for the Food Bank for New York City. According to the foundation’s website, Cara’s Food Bank fundraiser received “an overwhelming response” which allowed her to “double her fundraising goal.”

HLF’s Relationship with Garden of Dreams

The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation works with five community partners, including the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley children’s hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Together for Better, and Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

The Foundation says that, over the last six seasons, “1,448 children and their families have been hosted in ‘Henrik’s Crease’ for a New York Rangers game experience, thanks to donations to HLF.” The foundation adds that, “the children come from various Garden of Dreams partner organizations.”

Thanks to the Garden of Dreams foundation and HLF, this young girl saw her first Rangers game in Dec. 2019.

In 2009, Henrik Lundqvist became the spokesperson for the Garden of Dreams foundation. During each of the last 11 years, Henrik has appeared at the New York Rangers annual “Casino Night” to support Garden of Dreams. The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation says, “Henrik’s presence and signed memorabilia helped Garden of Dreams raise over $330,000 at Casino Night in the 2019-20 season. It also said that “Henrik’s support and active involvement helped Garden of Dreams raise over $650,000” during the 2019-20 season.

HLF’s Scholarship Program

In late 2019, HLF “committed to launching its first scholarship program with an annual fund of $30,000 (a nod to Henrik’s jersey number with the Rangers).” Shortly after the foundation committed to its first scholarship program, the pandemic began and changed the plans that HLF’s Young Ambassadors had to attend college. 

That is why HLF followed through with its “first ever needs-based scholarship program exclusively for alumni of the HLF Young Ambassadors program” in the summer of 2020. Each year, applicants are eligible to receive one of these three S.A.V.E Scholarships:

  • $20,000 SAVE Scholar of the Year
  • $10,000 x 2 Runner Up Awards

S.A.V.E. stands for “Service, Academics, strong Values and overall character Excellence”, qualities which HLF says it would like its Young Ambassadors to represent. HLF also had this to say about its scholarship program:

“HLF was proud to launch this Scholarship in uncertain times and support the educations of three of our most promising young leaders.”

What the Future Holds for Henrik Lundqvist and HLF

Since Henrik relocated to Washington D.C. in October, the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation has made an adjustment. It will now be accepting applications from kids who live in the Washington D.C. metro area, as well. Hopefully, the next generation of HLF Young Ambassadors will build upon what the 2019-20 class of Yaoung Ambassadors were able to do.

When Henrik Lundqvist was bought out by the New York Rangers on Sept. 30, it was feared that his relationship with the New York Rangers would be strained. However, the New York Post reported in November that Henrik hopes to return to the Rangers in an unspecified role in the future.

The King was a world class goalie for the Rangers for the last 15 years, whose greatness took him beyond sports to his foundation and charitable work. His fans and the people he has met through the years through his foundation will never forget him and we wish him all the best in Washington!

 

In the Zone constantly follows the tremendous charity and community efforts done by athletes just like Henrik Lundqvist.

The following two tabs change content below.
Anthony Paradiso
Anthony Paradiso has written for In The Zone since Sept. 2019. Previously, Anthony covered the New York Rangers and NY Red Bulls II since June of 2019. He has reported on-camera and written a monthly column for NYC newspaper, West View News since 2017. A graduate of Montclair State University, he co-hosts a sports talk show on University radio station, 90.3 FM WMSC.

More in BIZ