RALEIGH, N.C. - Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) president and chief executive officer Keith Fishburne has announced that Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward has teamed with SONC to create Cam’s Champions, a program designed to raise funds and awareness for a cause Ward believes in strongly.
Ward will donate $3 for every save he makes during the regular season and is inviting the public to join his campaign to support Special Olympics North Carolina. Ward will also host Special Olympics North Carolina athletes and their families at five regular season games.
"Cam approached us with this very generous offer and we were thrilled with this tremendous opportunity," said Fishburne. "This program will generate much needed funds and awareness for all the Special Olympics athletes throughout North Carolina."
Members of the community can join Cam’s Champions by visiting the Special Olympics North Carolina website, www.sonc.net, clicking on the SONC store in the upper right corner and choosing a donation amount.
The five available donation levels and their incentive items are:
Team Member: donation of $20-$99, Cam’s Champions static window decal;
Starter: donation of $100-$199, window decal and color photo of Cam;
3rd Star: donation of $200-$499, window decal and autographed color photo of Cam;
2nd Star: donation of $500-$999, window decal, autographed color photo and eligibility for two drawings for autographed sticks; 1st Star: donation exceeding $1,000, window decal, autographed color photo, drawings for autographed sticks and a drawing for an autographed jersey.
"My experience with Special Olympics Alberta inspired me to find a way to continue supporting this great organization in North Carolina," Ward said. "I hope the fans will join me in this promotion for this worthy cause."
Ward completed his first NHL season in 2005-06, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL Playoffs' most valuable player for his efforts in helping the Carolina Hurricanes capture their first Stanley Cup.
Ward, 22, led the league in wins (15) and ranked second in goals-against average (2.14) and shutouts (2) during the postseason. The Alberta native also set Hurricanes' single-season franchise playoff records for wins (15), saves (537), minutes (1,320) and shutouts (2). The Hurricanes' first-round draft pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Ward enters the 2006-07 campaign as Carolina's No. 1 netminder.
Prior to turning professional, Ward played four seasons of junior hockey with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League, earning the WHL's player of the year award and the Canadian Hockey League's goaltender of the year award following his final season with the Rebels. During his time in Red Deer, Ward was involved with Special Olympics Alberta.
Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 37,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics North Carolina is the second largest program in North America and seventh largest in the world in terms of athlete participation.
These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 20 sports on local and state levels.