Critically Ill Children Receive ‘Suite’ Deal with ‘Canes, Cole

Renewed partnership with Me Fine Foundation to benefit families at Triangle-area hospitals

Building on the success of last season’s partnership, the Carolina Hurricanes and former Hurricanes player and team ambassador Erik Cole will once again join the Me Fine Foundation to provide families of critically ill children a suite to all Hurricanes home games for the 2018 – 2019 season.

Landon and his friends at the Carolina Hurricanes game, along with members of the Storm Squad

Cole recognizes the reality these children and parents face on a daily basis as they endure treatments for life-threatening medical conditions. For him, this partnership centers around providing a dedicated time and space for families to have a night for themselves.

“This is all about giving the child a chance to have fun. This is also about giving parents the chance to see their child get to be a kid again.”

Cole will donate the 14-person suite, which includes food and beverage, parking passes and a private bathroom, which is optimal for patients with compromised immune systems. Cole, who serves as the Hurricanes team ambassador, played 892 career NHL games with the Hurricanes, Oilers, Canadiens, Stars and Red Wings. He recorded 532 points (265g, 267a) in his career and captured the Stanley Cup championship with the Hurricanes in 2006. The Oswego, NY, native appeared in 557 career games with Carolina, and ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played, points (363), hat tricks (5) and shorthanded goals (8).

Reflecting on this renewed partnership for the 2018 – 2019 season, Cole responded that this decision came with zero hesitations: “If there is something you can do to lessen the burden on families in these situations, then why would you not want to do it?”

“Erik really has come to embody what Me Fine is about: He’s using his resources to directly make a profound positive impact on the children in our community who are stricken with chronic illness and facing a difficult treatment path.” Me Fine Foundation Executive Director Joey Powell said. “Even after hockey, he’s still the consummate teammate.”

Since 2004, the Me Fine Foundation has provided both financial and emotional support to over 1,500 critically ill children and their families. Me Fine works with families from across North Carolina whose children are being treated by Duke Children’s Medical Center, UNC Children’s Hospital, or WakeMed Children’s Hospital. The organization benefits individuals of every race, diagnosis, religious affiliation and economic status. The Me Fine Foundation is a previous Carolina Hurricanes Foundation grant recipient and has received $25,000 in Game Changer Grants since 2014.

The Carolina Hurricanes Foundation strives to meet the health and educational needs of children, with a focus on underserved populations, and to strengthen youth hockey in our community. During the 2017-18 season, the Foundation donated a total of $495,000 in cash grants to 24 different children’s charities and youth hockey organizations in North Carolina. In 2018, the Kids ‘N Community Foundation was rebranded as the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation to further align with the team and the shared mission to make a positive, collective impact in the community.