Last week The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation held its 2nd UnMasked Event, which was hosted by Samsung at Samsung 837 in New York. It was a rockin’ evening of music, technology, and fundraising for a terrific cause. Lundqvist, the Rangers famous goalie (see Haute Living’s exclusive cover interview: Rangers Star Henrik Lundqvist Talks Hockey Season and Giving Back), even took to the stage to show his considerable music talents, playing guitar after introducing the Foundation’s new video, which was screened for guests. The event showcased 25 one-of-a-kind goalie masks (designed for the past 19 years by mask designer David Gunnarsson) that Lundqvist has worn during various competitions, including the World Cup and Olympic Games, and while in training. The story behind each individual mask was told in Lundqvist’s own words (not all masks are for sale; interested buyers should contact the Foundation). Proceeds raised go toward funding HLF initiatives. Rangers teammate Mika Zibanejad helmed the DJ booth as guests mingled with Henrik and his wife Therese, while checking out the artful masks, which were sold with a silent auction.
Lundqvist’s Foundation, through fundraising efforts and community outreach, focuses on education and health care initiatives for both children and adults around the world. “Some of us get to take things like health, education, and financial stability for granted,” says Lundqvist. “But they’re far from guaranteed for many. The Foundation’s goal is to help people all over the world who face these kinds of challenges.” Since its founding in 2014 by the Lundqvists, the HLF will have donated (by the end of 2016) $270,000 to charitable causes
The HLF has grown rapidly with a ten-fold increase in funds raised since its founding. Prior to creating the foundation, the Lundqvists had been involved for many years with Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation (a children’s charity that works with Madison Square Garden and the MSG network). “I saw what the Rangers were doing with the Garden of Dreams, what my friends were doing outside the sport, helping others. I became the spokesperson for Garden of Dreams and remain the spokesperson,” says Lundqvist. The HLF has an international reach, partnering with groups in Manhattan like the New York Presbyterian Childern’s Hopsital, Food Bank for New York City, and Together for Better benefiting in-need children in the Dominican Republic, along with other charities.
Two years ago, he felt the time was right to create his own foundation. “I think you when you are young you focus on your career and what your next step will be. Then you spread your views a little to see what you can do with your role as an athlete to do good.” Lundqvist told Haute Living. Although the foundation’s work is international, Lundqvist sees New York as the place where he can best leverage his numerous contacts within the sports world and beyond. “You begin to realize how you can make a difference in connecting people and try to inspire them to do good things,” he says. He’s particularly proud of his foundation’s Young Ambassadors program, and its success getting youngsters 12-18 years old involved in community service projects benefiting children’s health and education initiatives.
For more information go to: www.hlundqvistfoundation.com