Hockey Fights Cancer, a joint charitable initiative of the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association, joined forces with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) during the 2010-11 season to take a shot at pediatric cancer.
To recognize the impact of the partnership, Zach Parise
of the New Jersey Devils
, John Tavares
and Michael Grabner
of the New York Islanders
and Henrik Lundqvist
and Brad Richards
of the New York Rangers
joined Dr. Adolfo Ferrando of Columbia University -- whose work is focused on T-Cell leukemia -- and representatives of LLS at NHL headquarters on Thursday to present a plaque to Hockey Fights Cancer thanking it for its support in the fight to eradicate pediatric cancer.
Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. The money raised through the campaign is funding an LLS portfolio of 10 pediatric cancer research grants, including one supporting the work of Dr. Ferrando.
NHL helps Hockey Fight Cancer. (Click to enlarge)
The Hockey Fights Cancer/LLS campaign also included public service announcements featuring NHL players and a mobile phone texting campaign that was promoted during NHL games throughout the U.S. and Canada. The campaign gave LLS chapters across North America the opportunity to leverage and strengthen relationships with their local NHL teams. Together they hosted special events at NHL arenas that helped raise awareness and funds to support the initiative.
Among the teams that participated were the Anaheim Ducks
and the Washington Capitals
. The partnership between LLS's Orange County Chapter and the Ducks included promotions on the team's website, in publications and on Ducks radio broadcasts. The Ducks dedicated a game to LLS and presented a generous check to support cancer research. Many other chapters also made successful connections with their teams. The Capitals dedicated a game to LLS during which LLS-honored patients were recognized on center ice. The Capitals made special jerseys with LLS colors and the HFC patch that players wore during pregame warmups, then auctioned the autographed shirts during the game.
"LLS is extremely grateful to the NHL, the Players and the entire hockey community and its fans for coming together to support this effort," LLS president and CEO John Walter said. "These funds will be a tremendous help to researchers such as Dr. Ferrando who are working hard to beat childhood cancer."