Lake Elsinore Storm’s Thunder Cares helps in the community – San Bernardino Sun



Thunder Cares, the nonprofit arm of the Lake Elsinore Storm helps to raise community awareness and funds for local nonprofits.

The nonprofit was established in 2011 through an ongoing partnership with the Inland Empire Community Foundation.

Named after the Lake Elsinore Storm’s mascot, Thunder, the program raises donations from the community and proceeds benefit local charities, youth sports, first responders, military, and organizations in need.

“Supporting the community is a driving factor in our mission,” said Christine Kavic, the Storm’s CFO and general manager. “We are very much about our fans and the experiences they have in the ballpark, but are also about doing as much as we can to support the community.”

Money raised goes directly back into the community. In the last 10 years, Thunder Cares has distributed over $260,000 in donations and would like to quadruple that in the next 10.

While Storm has always partnered with the community to create sponsorships and fundraising opportunities, the organization is working to increase awareness of Thunder Cares and its ability to assist nonprofits.

The stadium is one location where nonprofits can create awareness of their initiatives. They receive a unique code to share with their supporters. The code is tracked through the ticketing system and the nonprofit gets 10% of sales as well as a suite for the night that holds about 10. The organization can utilize the suite by raffling tickets or however they see fit. Nonprofits are also highlighted during games and through marketing materials. The organization reaches 270,000 people annually with its communications.

Thunder Cares also partners with area little leagues, which rely on fundraising through the stadium, according to Kavic. Little leagues and other nonprofits can purchase ticket packages at a lower price point to sell for a fundraiser, pocketing the proceeds.

In 2020, when many nonprofits couldn’t raise funds traditionally, the organization shifted to offering parking lot drive-in movies. Nonprofits sold tickets and benefited from the proceeds. The organization also takes requests for in kind and cash donations. Applications are available online at https://www.milb.com/lake-elsinore/tickets/fundraising.

“No matter the need or the funding budget, we can be creative to find a way to assist them to raise funds,” Kavic said. “They might think about Storm for a basket for a raffle or solicit us for money, but it’s so much bigger than that.”



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