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RUSH NAMED FINALIST FOR THREE ECHL TEAM AWARDS

Monday, June 5th
RUSH NAMED FINALIST FOR THREE ECHL TEAM AWARDS

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The ECHL announced on Monday that the Rapid City Rush has been named a finalist in three categories for the 2022-23 ECHL Team Awards. 

"I'm proud of our group and what we've accomplished this season," Rush President Jared Reid said. "It's great to see our effort put in throughout the season recognized by the league."

The Rush as an organization is nominated for Community Service Team of the Year, Most Creative Revenue Generation of the Year, and Specialty Jersey of the Year. It's the first time the ECHL is recognizing a Specialty Jersey of the Year in its Team Awards. 

Rapid City is a proud military town. We're honored to be a finalist in the Specialty Jersey of the Year award with our Military Appreciation Night aviator-themed jerseys. They resembled the flight suits worn by the United States Air Force. The patch on the front of the jerseys represents the 28th Bomb Wing, one of the two bases responsible for the combat-ready operation and maintenance of the B-1B Lancer. The shoulders feature patches that represent the 34th Bomb Squadron and the 37th Bomb Squadron. 

The jerseys also feature the call signs of active duty aviators of both the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons. The Rush worked in partnership with Ellsworth Air Force Base in order to bring the idea to life, to garner a list of call signs for the Rush players to choose from, and to have an aviator from one of the squadrons out to speak to the team on the significance of what they were selecting.

The Most Creative Revenue Generation of the Year is for the online auction we held before our Rush Fights Cancer Night on February 18, 2023. This is the first time in a while we gave fans the opportunity to specifically have the name of one of their loved ones on the jerseys worn by the players. When we worked to design the jerseys, each one featured an "I Play For" patch on the front of it. We first gave each player the opportunity to write the name of a loved one who is currently battling cancer or has previously dealt with the horrible disease. Many of the players had someone right away that they came up with to write on their jerseys.

For those players who did not have someone specific to write, we auctioned off that space on their jerseys on DASH. The winner of each space was contacted immediately to confirm what name they wanted to be written on the player’s jersey, and we gave them the opportunity to either write it themselves at our "Paint the Ice" event or have our staff write in on the jersey. The winners from the auction each received a picture of the front of the jersey with the filled-in patch, showing their loved ones’ name.

A portion of the proceeds from the jersey patch auction was donated to the Monument Health Foundation as part of our Rush Fights Cancer donation. 

"We're very proud of our organization and the incredible staff that we have. The front office and players work hard every day to get out in the community and make those connections. We're grateful to be nominated for Community Service Team of the Year once again this season," said Reid. 

During the 2022-23 hockey season, we were able to help over 150 organizations and businesses around the Black Hills through donations, fundraising, and volunteering. With it being our 15th season in the Black Hills, every front office staff member committed to completing 15 hours throughout the season to various organizations. This included: walking dogs at the Black Hills Humane Society, helping at various events through The Club for Boys, painting nails and playing games with residents at Westhills Village – Senior Living Retirement Community, packing food boxes and doing mobile food distribution through Feeding South Dakota, keeping youth hockey running smoothly by helping with tournaments through Rushmore Hockey Association, shoveling snow and painting rooms for Black Hills Works residents, supporting Volunteers of America through its Empty Bowl event, and helped a figure skating competition come back to life through the Black Hills Figure Skating Club. Although the goal was to hit 15 hours each, most front office members completed more to showcase their commitment to the area.

During the holiday season, we started our first-ever “Shop with the Rush” event. Seventeen kids from low-income families were able to shop with our coaches, mascot, and players for holiday gifts at Fleet Farm. As a team, we “adopted” a family for the holidays. We worked with OneHeart and they chose a mother with three kids. Our front office and hockey operations donated to the cause and went shopping for gifts. We also brought them out to a home game!

Other major community programs include our Tip-A-Player event, raising $4,800 for local Special Olympics athletes, donating $7,500 to both Black Hills Works and Rural America Initiatives through our Rush Gives Back Night, and our annual Ladies & Laces hockey game, where we raised $7,800 for Rushmore Hockey Association! 

Over the past few years, the Rush has been nominated for 19 ECHL Team Awards, taking home five so far. This includes Group Department of the Year, Community Service Team of the Year, Theme Night of the Year, and back-to-back wins of Marketing Team of the Year awards. 

The annual ECHL Team Awards honor teams and individuals from across the league in several categories for their accomplishments during the season. The ECHL will present the 2022-23 awards at the 2023 ECHL League Meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 28.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Utah Grizzlies @ Rapid City Rush
Friday, October 25th
Utah Grizzlies @ Rapid City Rush
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MDT
The Monument
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument
Utah Grizzlies @ Rapid City Rush
Saturday, October 26th
Utah Grizzlies @ Rapid City Rush
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MDT
The Monument
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument
Kansas City Mavericks @ Rapid City Rush
Wednesday, November 6th
Kansas City Mavericks @ Rapid City Rush
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MST
The Monument
Kansas City Mavericks
KC Kansas City Mavericks
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument

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