When the puck drops on the fourth annual White Out for Mandi game at Yale University on Jan. 24, the entire St. Louis Blues team will be in attendance.
Mandi Schwartz, the late sister of Blues forward Jaden Schwartz, played for the Yale Bulldogs women’s ice hockey team and was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia during her junior year in 2008. After a two-and-a-half year battle that included a stem cell transplant, Mandi lost her courageous battle and passed away on April 3, 2011.
Since her diagnosis, the Yale women’s team has dedicated a game to Mandi each season. Fans pack the rink and wear white jerseys to raise awareness about the need for bone marrow donors. In addition, special silent auctions are held to raise money for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. This year, Mandi’s parents, Carol and Rick, will be in attendance and will participate in a pregame ceremony before the game.
The Blues will hold their team practice at 3 p.m. on Jan. 24. The event is open to the public. Afterwards, Jaden and the rest of his teammates will attend the White Out for Mandi game between Yale and Brown. The game begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public. Donations will be accepted at the door for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation.
"I think this commitment to attend the White Out for Mandi speaks volumes about the depth of the Blues organization," Carol told YaleBullDogs.com. "This is a true reflection of the heart and soul of the Blues family -- a family that drafted Jaden knowing full well that during the draft Jaden's heart, mind and soul were in the midst of the greatest tragedy he would probably ever face. A family that stood by him, that supported him throughout, that provided him with opportunities when the time was right and now a family that will stand by him as he for the first time walks into Ingalls Rink and skates in the arena that his sister Mandi so loved and cherished."
Mandi is currently being featured in select packs of 2013-14 NHL Upper Deck Series One hockey cards. The card is part of Upper Deck’s ‘Heroic Inspirations’ label and features a piece of a game-worn Yale jersey donated by her family. The cards will be available to purchase at the game.
"As we found out more and more about Mandi's story, everyone in the building began to draw inspiration from her and we became very excited about this project," Chris Carlin, sports marketing manager at Upper Deck, told Yahoo Sports. "A player like Mandi deserves a trading card and the one we created is very special."
Ingalls Rink is located at 73 Sachem Street in New Haven, CT. For more information on the White Out for Mandi, visit YaleBullDogs.com.