Heroes Ahead Next Season

Kraken Unity Fund Together with Starbucks to celebrate local community heroes. Ownership group led by Bonderman family donating $32,000 each home game — by Bob Condor

On opening night of the Kraken’s inaugural season, the franchise lifted a “32” banner to the brand-new Climate Pledge Arena rafters in honor of the 32,000 ticket depositor-fans who over 24 hours in March 2018 resoundingly signaled to the NHL that Seattle is a hockey town.

Next season, the 32,000 marker will continue its significance with the newly announced Kraken Unity Fund Together with Starbucks, created to honor and celebrate a community hero and non-profit organization of the hero’s choice with a $32,000 grant at every Kraken regular-season home game.

The program will be funded by the Kraken ownership group led by David Bonderman and Samantha Holloway. It is part of the franchise’s purposeful commitment to community and the Pacific Northwest, especially intended to support and amplify good works on behalf of all members of our region.

The Kraken, Starbucks and One Roof Foundation (the philanthropic arm of the team and arena) intend for this program to be life-changing for the recipients, chosen nonprofits and the people they touch in their communities. The program’s success in the team’s five-state region can’t be achieved without input and help from the community.

The Kraken is asking for your help to nominate people to receive the grants. Feel free to spread the word. We want to hear about inspirational leaders in your neighborhoods and towns to help bring us together. The concept is for the $32,000 grant to be a difference-maker in people’s lives. The first round of nominations will be accepted between May 24 and Aug 1.

“My family has always believed the power of the Kraken organization and One Roof Foundation [philanthropic arm of team and arena] is rooted in our community and can be a way to bring people together and recognize their goodness,” said Holloway, chairperson of the Seattle Kraken Executive Committee. “There are so many inspirational stories, and it is our privilege to be able to tell them.” 

Nominees can come from throughout the Kraken broadcast territory of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. Selection will be led by the One Roof Foundation board, together with the Kraken and Starbucks. The nomination form and more information can be found here. 

The community heroes will be announced at each home game. Any fan who watched community heroes be presented at home games last season witnessed the emotions and joy of recognition last season. The financial grant will add the power of change to the heroes program.

Starbucks will host a day of community service at the beginning of each season and celebrate the recipients and their chosen non-profits at an annual event held at the end of each season.  

“Being a part of the Kraken’s inaugural season in our hometown, Seattle, was a privilege this past year,” said Camille Hymes, vice president, U.S. community impact at Starbucks. “As a part of our continued Community Impact Partnership with the team, we’re looking forward to growing and evolving the recognition program under the new name, Kraken Unity Fund Together with Starbucks, to uplift and support so many great nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest.”  

“Welcoming the Starbucks Community Stars honorees to our games this past season created many magical moments,” said Tod Leiweke, Kraken CEO. “We know the Pacific Northwest is home to both people and organizations doing amazing work to unite our community. I am excited to see the impact of the grants.”