The Los Angeles Kings hockey club is sticking up for the Southern California community’s mental health this season as coronavirus precautions drag toward their 12th month.
Starting with Thursday’s season opener against the Minnesota Wild at the Staples Center and going coast to coast through all home and away games, fans will see the words “California Hope” emblazoned on each side of players’ helmets. (For now, at least, they will be seen only by TV viewers as no fans will be in attendance at NHL arenas.)
CalHOPE delivers crisis support for communities impacted by a national disaster (the pandemic, in this case). It’s funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and run by the California Department of Health Care Services.
The goal of the helmet partnership with the Kings is to increase public awareness of the CalHOPE program and the resources available in the mental health and wellness arena.
The Kings also will support CalHOPE in several other ways this season, including a free public event and a public service announcement featuring two-time Stanley Cup-winning center Anze Kopitar that will run throughout the season.
The CalHOPE program marks the first time in franchise history that the Kings will feature a partner brand on any team gear.