RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — We’re less than a month away from the Carolina Hurricanes’ first game of the season but Sunday, the team hosted a 5K for a special cause.

More than 1,700 people attended the Canes 5K race outside of PNC Arena. Kids were also able to enjoy inflatables and run in 100 and 200 yard dashes.

The money from the race goes toward the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation, who will then use the money to help kids across the Triangle.

“We’re able to reach so many different types of organizations and help our kids in this area, whether it be on the eye playing hockey or just at a boys and girls club where they’re working hard every day to better themselves,” said Shane Willis, a staff member and former player for the Carolina Hurricanes.

CBS 17 heard from several fans who say this event is the unofficial kickoff for hockey season.

“It’s like the beginning of hockey season is this right here,” said Scott Mason, who ran the race with his son Jacob. “It’s one of those ‘once in an opportunity’ things to be able to do as a bonding with our team, with our community.”

The team tells CBS 17 everyone who participated in the 5K received one ticket to a home game this season.