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Solar Bears fans and Local 6 help raise over $12,000 for Rethink Homelessness

Tuesday, March 3rd
Solar Bears fans and Local 6 help raise over $12,000 for Rethink Homelessness

Saturday's game drew largest crowd of the season, strong television ratings, and millions of social media impressions

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Solar Bears, proud affiliate of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL's Toronto Marlies, announced that the team, their fans, and Local 6-WKMG helped raise $12,287 for the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. The funds were raised through the promotion of the hashtag #RethinkHomelessness on social media and from group ticket sales for the home game on 'Faith & Family Night' on Saturday, February 28.

"The Orlando Solar Bears won a big game on the ice, and helped move the needle on homelessness across the community on Saturday," said Andrae Bailey, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. "Faith and Family night was amazing for our community."

The Solar Bears and Local 6-WKMG both donated $1 to the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness for each use of #RethinkHomelessness during Saturday's game, which accounted for $10,472 of the donation, $5,236 raised by the Solar Bears for every tweet, and Facebook and Instagram post and $5,236 matched by Local 6.  The campaign garnered over seven million social media impressions. The remainder of the $12,287 donation was generated from a portion of group ticket sales for the game. 9,010 fans were in attendance on Saturday, Orlando's largest crowd of the season. Churches and schools who came out to support Faith and Family Weekend, sponsored by The Masters Academy, made up a large portion of the audience.

The action on the ice was televised live on Local 6-WKMG in Central Florida, producing a 1.0 rating. It was the second of three televised games this year, with the third contest set for Saturday, April 4.

The game was preceded by a half hour "Let's Rethink Homelessness" special on Local 6.  To watch the special presentation, click here.

"Central Florida's passion for sports continues to grow and the viewership during Saturday's game was no exception," said Skip Valet, VP/General Manager of WKMG Local 6. "The broadcast delivered as many viewers as the NHL game that it was up against. WKMG Local 6 was also pleased to 'Rethink Homelessness' Saturday night with our partners, the Orlando Solar Bears. Our half hour primetime news special examined the idea of providing our homeless community with housing. The plan makes good business sense and would restore hope and dignity to our neighborhoods. As Andrae Bailey of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness said in our program, 'We can make homelessness rare, brief, and one time in this community and by that definition, end homelessness in the way that we know it.' The Solar Bears' ownership group of Joe Haleski and Jason Siegel are true community leaders, and Local 6 was honored to tackle this important issue with the Solar Bears."

In addition, Solar Bears fans donated hundreds of food items over the weekend that were donated to the Christian Service Center and Community Food & Outreach Center.

The Solar Bears continue their six game home stand as they host the Cincinnati Cyclones on Tuesday, March 3, Thursday, March 5, and Monday, March 9, all at 7:00 p.m.

Orlando Solar Bears Single Game Tickets for the regular season are on sale now! Click here to purchase tickets.

The Orlando Solar Bears, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL's Toronto Marlies, play all of their home games at the 2012 Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year, the Amway Center.

Follow the Solar Bears at www.OrlandoSolarBearsHockey.comFacebook, and Twitter(@OrlandoHockey) for all the latest news and updates. Stay in touch with Shades on Instagram by following ShadestheSolarBear.

Group tickets are a great way to entertain employees, co-workers, clients, friends and family. For more information on discounted group tickets and a list of group benefits, call 407-951-8200 or visit www.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/groups.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at:   http://store.orlandosolarbearshockey.com/

Since beginning operations in November of 2011, the Solar Bears and their fans have helped raise over $1,000,000 for the Central Florida community. To read the Solar Bears Report to the Community, click here.

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