During the month of October, each National Hockey League (NHL) club will host a Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night in its arena to help raise money and awareness for this important cause. The Anaheim Ducks will host their own HFC Awareness Night at Honda Center this Saturday, Oct. 24 vs. Columbus (7:05 p.m.). The club will recognize/raise funds for HFC Awareness Night in a number of ways:
- The Ducks broadcast will promote HFC Awareness Night, including a special Kent French interview with Ducks alternate captain and cancer survivor, Saku Koivu
. Koivu was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September, 2001. After undergoing chemotherapy and subsequent treatment, Koivu returned to the ice after his cancer went into remission in April, 2002. He has been cancer-free ever since. Additional interviews and reads will take place both on television and radio highlighting the Ducks’ participation with HFC and the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
- Anaheim Ducks wives will sell player-autographed lavender HFC mini-sticks for $20. The sale of the hockey sticks will benefit the Michael O’Donnell Memorial Fund at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
- O’Donnell, the Memorial Fund’s namesake, spent 14 years with Honda Center ultimately serving as the arena’s Senior Vice President and General Manager. After a three-year battle with cancer, he passed away in August 2007.
- Additional in-game silent auction of Ducks autographed merchandise will take place. The Anaheim Ducks Team Store will also sell HFC ties, hats, books and scarves.
- In an on-ice presentation, the Ducks will recognize a Community Hero – Cheryl Bartetzko. Nominated by the American Cancer Society for her volunteer service, Cheryl chaired the Lake Forest event for the 2009 Relay For Life. Bartetzko is described as a tireless, energetic, creative, thoughtful and great leader in the fight against cancer. She constantly creates new ways to help spread the word about Orange County’s 34 Relay For Life events and American Cancer Society’s free patient services and programs.
- Cast members from the CBS drama “Cold Case” have made a generous donation to HFC through the Ducks organization. For their efforts, the cast will be honored in a pre-game puck drop ceremony on Monday, Oct. 26 when the Ducks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Honda Center (7:05 p.m.).
- Ducks coaches, management, broadcasters and staff will wear official lavender HFC ties and scarves. All ushers and security staff will wear lavender ribbons. Ducks Power Players will also wear lavender ribbon t-shirts. In addition, the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a lavender ribbon.
- In-arena recognition for fans in attendance that have battled cancer. Public service announcements will also take place throughout the game.
- Tickets to Saturday’s game were donated to American Cancer Society and Kids Konnected, both local cancer-related nonprofits.
Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) is a joint charitable initiative founded in December 1998 by the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA). It is supported by NHL member clubs, NHL alumni, the NHL Officials’ Association, professional hockey athletic trainers and equipment managers, corporate marketing partners, broadcasters and fans throughout North America.
Hockey Fights Cancer’s goal is to raise money and awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. To date, HFC has raised more than $10.5 million.
HFC receives funds from club initiatives, NHL fundraisers and events and fan donations. Fans interested in donating or learning more about HFC can visit hockeyfightscancer.com. HFC also receives funds from the sale of HFC-themed merchandise (such as commemorative tie, scarf, caps, t-shirts, etc.).
The NHL distributes HFC funds through charitable grants to national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations.
Lavender, which represents awareness for all types of cancers, is the designated color for this year’s initiative.