Remember the date. September 10th, 2016. This day will live in the memories of certain Blue Jackets fans forever. This is the date in which they got the greatest surprise.
The Story of Flockfest
You may be familiar with the Twitter account @Folignos_Flock. They are one of the bigger voices in Blue Jackets social media. The main reason for this is their continuing work with the Janis Foligno Foundation.
The Foundation started small. In the 2014-15 season they attempted to raise money for the “Fights For A Cure” campaign. They enjoyed great success initially, raising more than $7,000 thanks to a variety of circumstances. Their two biggest contributors that season were “Fights For A Cure” (this is when any Blue Jackets player got into a fight, NiceRink would donate $100 to the Foligno Foundation) and “More Hugs More FUNds” (anytime Nick Foligno and Sergei Bobrovsky completed their hug after a win, a donation was made to the Foundation).
After seeing the initial success of this endeavor, the Flock knew that they needed to make things bigger and better. As a result, they created an event that is now called “Flockfest”.
The aim was to get fans together and meet each other. It was an opportunity to put names with faces. Flockfest takes place on a Saturday afternoon before the season gets underway. What more do you want on a Saturday afternoon? There’s food, drinks, friends, games and much more, all going toward a great cause.
This season’s Flockfest was by far the best yet, for one very important reason. A special guest arrived. The best part was, nobody there, including the Flock, knew this was happening.
Before anyone knew what happened, Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno arrived at the party.
— Ŧ๏ɭเﻮภ๏'ร Ŧɭ๏ςк (@Folignos_Flock) September 10, 2016
Nick Foligno Surprises Fans
So how about that? Thanks to a fan who knew Foligno personally, the Blue Jackets captain arrived at Flockfest to show his appreciation for all of their efforts in supporting his mother’s foundation.
Here is what Foligno had to say about his appearance at Flockfest:
I wanted to come and thank everybody too. A big thank you from my family as well, they weren’t obviously able to be here. What you guys have done for my mom’s foundation has been unbelievable. Thank you very much. You guys probably never knew her, but she’s an incredible woman. That’s why we started her foundation. Obviously, you know the story a little bit. She’s now seven years passed away, but because of you guys and some of the work we’re able to do, you guys allow her name to live on. So thank you very much for that, and this is a big testament to that, so thank you. On behalf of my family, I’m here to thank you guys personally and looking forward to having a good time.
I’m happy to report that everyone had a good time at Flockfest. Check out some of the pictures from that day that appeared on social media.
— Boone's Goons (@Boones_Goons) September 10, 2016
— Jacket Addicts (@JacketAddicts) September 11, 2016
— Christine Ashdown (@chrash1069) September 10, 2016
There was an incredible time had by all at Flockfest. Just imagine what kinds of things are in store for next year and beyond.
How You Can Support the Janis Foligno Foundation
If you would like more information about the Foundation and what they do, you can click here. Foligno’s Flock will once again have Fights For A Cure and More Hugs More FUNds. They also accept individual pledges. If you wish to make a pledge, contact Foligno’s Flock on Twitter or you can send an email to email@example.com.
A number of sponsors have stepped up in support of this cause. Among them are NiceRink, Papa John’s of Central Ohio, The Blue Jackets Foundation, The Jacket Backers, Homage, the Sabres Foundation and Flip Flop Shops of Easton.
NiceRink donates $100 for every fight Foligno gets into where he drops the gloves. This also includes Nick’s brother Marcus, and when he drops the gloves. In addition, NiceRink has donated items to use in the Flock’s raffles, such as a backyard “rink-in-a-box”. The $100 donation from NiceRink will be back for the 2016-17 season anytime either Foligno gets into a fight.
Be ready from the start boys!
— Ŧ๏ɭเﻮภ๏'ร Ŧɭ๏ςк (@Folignos_Flock) February 27, 2016
Papa John’s is one of the biggest sponsors of Foligno’s Flock. Last season, you may have seen the hashtag “Foligno 500”. For every goal Foligno scored, Papa John’s donated $500 to the Janis Foligno Foundation. The pizza chain even gave the Flock a promo code in which 20% of sales were donated when the code was used. Not surprisingly, the code was FLOCK. In addition, some of the sales from “The Defender” pizza went to the Foundation.
Saving the Best for Last
Wanna go to a Blue Jackets away game? Of course, you do. Well, Foligno’s Flock is proud to announce that they are holding a raffle, thanks to a partnership with May Contain Nuts Company and the Jacket Backers.
hmmmm, wonder if that 'something' was discussed at last night's JB meeting… Yep, pretty sure it was!
— Jacket Backers (@JacketBackers) September 16, 2016
The winner of the raffle will win a trip to Ottawa to see the Blue Jackets play the Senators. The winner gets bus transportation from Columbus, overnight accommodations and tickets to the game. For more details or if you want to purchase tickets in the raffle, contact Foligno’s Flock or the Jacket Backers. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Foligno Foundation.
What a great fund this has become. One person’s small idea has blossomed into a life-changing event. When the Blue Jackets say “CBJ gives back”, this is what they had in mind. Maybe one day, thanks to endeavors like this, a cure will come. That will make everything better.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.