(falconsahl.com) — Springfield Falcons owner Charlie Pompea announced the formation of the Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation at a press conference involving fans and media on Sunday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.
The Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation will serve as the philanthropic arm of the Springfield Falcons hockey club. Pompea, along with his daughter, Sarah Pompea, who serves as the Falcons’ marketing and promotions coordinator, unveiled the foundation’s mission statement:
"The mission of the Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation is to enrich the lives of children and families throughout Greater Springfield by promoting awareness of education, exercise, and health. The Foundation is committed to bettering the quality of life in the community where we live and work through the contribution of resources and acts of volunteerism."
Charlie Pompea presented a personal check to Sarah Pompea, who becomes the first president of the Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation. Sarah Pompea was present at a January ceremony at Tatham Elementary School in West Springfield along with current Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson, during which the Falcons unveiled their partnership with Link to Libraries. As part of their affiliation with Link to Libraries, an East Longmeadow-based non-profit organization that collects and distributes new and gently-used books to elementary schools and other non-profit organizations, the Falcons have made a commitment for a three-year period to make the financial contribution for 200 books for each year of the partnership.
In his speech, Charlie Pompea cited the Falcons’ active role in the Springfield community as a catalyst for the Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation’s creation. He referenced the Falcons’ Link to Libraries partnership, as well as the club’s support for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Foundation, for which the Falcons collected over 400 toys at a game in early December. Pompea also referred to the club’s recent contributions to Friends of the Homeless, the largest adult emergency shelter in Western Mass. Falcons players served meals to and purchased holiday gift-bag items for the shelter’s clients earlier this season. Pompea further elaborated on the Falcons’ community presence by adverting to the organization’s Movember and Pink in the Rink efforts. Falcons players grew mustaches for Movember to generate awareness of men’s health issues and raised over $1,000 in support of the cause. On Mar. 2, the Falcons will host Pink in the Rink Night, and proceeds from a jersey auction that evening will go directly to the Mary Kay Foundation to help end cancers affecting women as well as domestic abuse.
While the Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation served as the focus of Pompea’s speech, he discussed the necessity of an increase in support of the club from the community. Pompea touched on the fact that the Falcons have been one of the AHL’s best teams all season, but currently sit near the bottom of the league in attendance.
Pompea expressed his disappointment at the fact that he reached out to 10 local businesses at the start of the season at purchasing an affordable ticket package, but did not receive the courtesy of a return phone call from any of the companies.
The owner also mentioned that he was recently approached by a potential buyer of the franchise, but talked about how his establishment of the Springfield Falcons Charitable Foundation served as a reaffirmation of his commitment to maintain ownership of the team and keep the club in the Pioneer Valley.
Pompea ended the speech by thanking the club’s loyal fans for their support and celebrating the Falcons’ on-ice success this season.
At the conclusion of the press conference, Pompea took questions from fans and media.