Timberwolves and Lynx Pack Contributions Honored With Minnesota Keystone Award

by Katie Davidson
Digital Content Associate

If you haven’t heard by now, giving back to the surrounding community is a top priority for the Timberwolves and Lynx organization.

When members of the Timberwolves and Lynx Pack aren’t focused on basketball, they can be found supporting local organizations, inspiring youth and promoting education, inclusion and wellness.

Timberwolves and Lynx Chief Executive Officer Ethan Casson has been a main spearhead of the Pack’s commitment to giving back, and he and the Timberwolves and Lynx were honored with a 2019 Minnesota Keystone Award in the medium company category for their contributions to the community and outstanding corporate giving programs such as Pack Gives Back.

The Minnesota Keystone Program selects three companies (one small, medium and large business) each year, and the Timberwolves and Lynx organization was chosen from nearly 200 companies in the program that donate at least 2% of their pre-tax earnings to charitable organizations. Advent Talent Group and Liberty Diversified International were also honored at the luncheon.

When asked to describe his organization’s origin at Friday’s program, Casson stated Pack Gives Back’s mission statement: “to be a pack.”

“(Our mission and purpose are) believing and inspiring our fans, our employees, and most importantly, our community, and that’s led us to today,” Casson said.

The Pack includes everyone within the franchise: players, executives and staff members of all levels. Casson emphasized the need for organizations to be inclusive with their staff when asked to give a word of advice at Friday’s luncheon.

“One of the things we took such great pride in was we really wanted to hear from everybody in this organization, regardless of title, regardless of level, regardless of tenure,” Casson said. “If there is some advice to give you, I would just say be as inclusive and open-minded to feedback and the insight and perspective you’re going to get from your staff because they’re going to lead you to a place maybe a group of you would never be able to get to.”

By taking his own advice, Casson and his Pack have supported over 500 non-profit organizations, provided over $250,000 in community gifts, distributed more than 4,000 books and donated 4,900 meals and snacks to the community — in just the last year.

But the giving doesn’t stop there.

Casson shared Pack Gives Back’s ambitious five-year goal, “Drive for Five," at Friday’s luncheon. In five years, the Pack plans to distribute $5 million via monetary and in-kind donations, impact 500,000 Minnesota youth and families, commit to 15,000 staff volunteer hours, serve 2,500 non-profits and guarantee a minimum of 500 player appearances.

It’s an ambitious goal, but if the Timberwolves and Lynx Pack sticks to its pack mentality, the impact it could have on its community knows no bounds.

About Pack Gives Back

Pack Gives Back is the social responsibility platform for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx, T-Wolves Gaming and Iowa Wolves. The platform encompasses all the franchises’ efforts surrounding social and community impact inclusive of the organization’s employees, partners, players, and the FastBreak Foundation. Pack Gives Back initiatives will center around education, inclusion and wellness and support its communities 365 days a year with the crossover of  NBA, WNBA, NBA2K League and G-League seasons.

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