Snider kicks off holiday giving

One of Philadelphia’s best-known rich men is in the holiday spirit full swing already.

Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider, gave more than $10 million of his estimated $300 million net worth to charity in just one week this month — $5 million to the National Museum of American Jewish History and $5.5 million to enclose and renovate three of the city’s skating rinks.

“The programs of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation serve 2,500 children with an annual budget of $1.5 million,” said Scott Tharp, president of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. “Ed has graciously agreed to donate, two for one, every dollar we raise. His latest gift of $5.5 million to the capital campaign is in addition to his annual donation to our operating budget.”

Snider, head of the 76ers and Flyers ownership group, told Metro this week that hockey is just a small part of what the kids learn inside those city rinks.

“Hockey is the hook to attract the children so we can teach them life lessons and better prepare them for life,” Snider said. “After the renovation, the rinks will be the only ice rinks in the country equipped with a computer lab.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called Snider “a model to the other owners of NHL franchises … making the great sport of hockey available to everyone.”

In the case of the National Museum of American Jewish History, Snider did not just write a check. He also conceived of the idea of the museum’s most popular exhibit, Only in America. This exhibits honors 18 Jewish Americans that have changed the world.

“I came up with the ‘Only in America’ idea because of my sports background,” he said. “I am used to a Hall of Fame concept.”

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