DENVER (CBS4) - Every time the Colorado Avalanche take the ice during the NHL Playoffs they are helping local charities and nonprofit organizations thrive in Colorado. Jerseys, pucks and other items used during the 2022 Stanley Cup playoff push have been collected and prepared for auction on behalf of Kroenke Sports Charities, a division of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment which owns the Avalanche.
Currently many items from the first round of the NHL playoffs are being auctioned, including game worn jerseys from some of the biggest names on the team. The auction of first round gear runs through Thursday night at 8 p.m.
Organizations like the Special Olympics of Colorado are among those who benefit most from the auctions. KSC has long been a partner of the organization and makes annual donations to their mission to provide outlets to sporting for people of all abilities.
"It has affected my life so much," said Tyler Anderson, an athlete with Special Olympics Colorado. "It has been a dream come true for me to be a part of this great organization."
Anderson, a self-described Avalanche fanatic, also plays several other sports for Special Olympics.
During his time playing for Colorado State University's team, the group has become very successful and was recently ranked among the top five competing schools in the nation.
Keaton Bentley, a coach with the team, said the funding received from KSC has helped form great relationships.
"One donation can change one life, ten lives, 100 lives. It doesn't stop there," Bentley said. "I think, without Kroenke sports, we wouldn't have the opportunities we do get. We are really lucky to have them as a partner and an ally. They really give fuel to what we are able to accomplish."
While the Avs wrap up their first round playoffs auctions, the team is already working to have second and third round items on the auction block soon. Eventually some items from the Stanley Cup Final will be up for sale.
"Avs success is absolutely Special Olympics success," said Megan Scremin, President of Special Olympics Colorado. "(Kroenke Sports Charities) has shown us time and time again that they are about more than just winning. They are about making sure every single person has access to sports which brings comradery, friendship, joy and good health."
Items like the game worn jerseys come with certificates of authenticity, and the insides of the jerseys come with unique patches sewn into the uniforms to say which game and player they were used by. The inside of the jersey is also signed by the team's equipment manager to certify their validity.
"That's why these are so valuable. They are certified with the special tag inserted by our equipment manager," said Deb Dowling, President of KSC. "We've got the spotlight on us right now. So, people are more interested in purchasing memorabilia, and supporting the team in whatever way they can."
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