In the Spirit of the Holiday, Hershey Gives Generously

Posted February 13, 2012

Coco the Bear shows off his Hershey's Kisses jersey while collecting donations for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. His jersey was later auctioned for $650 dollars (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)

As mentioned previously, yesterday was a specialty jersey day in Hershey.  That means a post-game auction, and (as with the Pink in the Rink game) complementary item sales by the Bears’ wives & girlfriends.  As one might expect, both events were a raging success.  The auction brought in over $30,000 (with Captain Boyd Kane claiming top dog status at $2650), and the women went zero to $4000 in 13 minutes flat with the “Grab a Puck” bag sales.

Despite having a hockey playing father in Alternate Captain Graham Mink, Gunnar decided that he'd rather have Tomas Kundratek's jersey (he wasn't alone - the rising star brought in over $1000 at his third auction).

Let’s face it, last night’s jersey auction went well because Hershey jerseys auctions go well.  There were certainly some new stars on the auction block (including a brief cameo by two year old Gunnar Mink), but specialty jersey auctions in Hershey are one of those things that charitable organizations can count on for a good draw.  Valentine’s weekend was no exception – the lowest grossing jersey sold was that of former-Bear Danny Richmond, which went for $550.

The real stars of last night’s charitable efforts were the wives & girlfriends, who went above and beyond with their “Grab a Puck” bag sales.  400 bags were assembled, each containing a minimum of one puck autographed by a member of the team.  A hundred of the bags also contained secondary prizes, such as gift certificates, signed Capitals and Hershey items, t-shirts and blankets, and bracelets by BellaMink.  The line to purchase the bags stretched more than 4 sections around the concourse before any money exchanged hands, and there was still at least 2 sections long when news trickled back that the event had successfully sold out.  They were priced at $10 a bag, and the final bag was sold 13 minutes after sales opened.  All proceeds from the bags will go to the Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS) branch in the Hershey region.

A few notes on BBBS, because they’re worth paying attention to:

They’re a nationwide organization, whose stated goal is to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”

In addition to their fundraising with the Bears, there’s also an informal Washington Capitals connection to the organization.  Right winger Joel Ward has been a Big Brother for years, starting his affiliation with the group during his time with the Nashville Predators.

If you’re interested in getting involved, they can always benefit from donations of time and funds.  If you live in the Hershey/Harrisburg area, check out their website ( or feel free to give them a call at (717) 236-0199.

If you’re a reader from the DC Metro Area, check out the National Capital Area branch online at