TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning will host its annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night, presented by Moffitt Cancer Center, on November 25 when the team takes on the Buffalo Sabres at AMALIE Arena (7 p.m., FOX Sports Sun, 970WFLA). The night is dedicated to honoring patients, survivors, caretakers and others involved in the fight against cancer.
As part of the night, those fighting or involved in the fight will be recognized during the game. A special moment of silence to honor those effected by the disease will take place prior to the game in which fans in attendance will be asked to utilize their cell phone lights in memory of those who have been lost, while both teams will line up on the blue line with 'I Fight For', 'In Memory Of' or 'Survivor' cards. Players will be joined on the ice by representatives from the 14 hospitals, treatment facilities and non-profit cancer-fighting organizations whose staffs, caregivers, patients and families are being honored throughout the night.
The game's national anthem will be performed by Marissa Peddie. Marissa is a student at Ruth Eckerd Hall's Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts. In 2013 she was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of eight and underwent more than two years of treatment at John Hopkins All Children's Hospital. She turned to music as respite from her treatments and has since been singing at various charity events to promote pediatric cancer awareness. Marissa is now in remission, having received her last treatment in February of 2016.
Akum Kang, 19, will participate in a pre-game ceremonial puck drop with representatives from both teams. He recently finished treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma after being diagnosed at the age of 18. Akum underwent 25 rounds of chemotherapy at Moffitt Cancer Center while taking online courses to remain focused on graduation. He is currently enrolled at Georgia Institute of Technology and plans to return to campus in January.
Jordan Provenzano will charge the crowd into the game by firing the Tesla coils prior to puck drop. He is the son of a Moffitt Cancer Center patient who was taken from us in June. Jordan will be joined by his mother and brother.
During the first intermission the Lightning will present at $30,000 check to Moffitt Cancer Center, consisting of proceeds from a portion of the 50/50 raffle from the 2018-19 season. After the second period the Bolts will welcome 15-year-old Katie Ballesteros to the team bench. Katie has been cancer free for almost a year. She recently took part if the 4th Annual Coop's Catch For Kids, charity fishing tournament, presented by Heritage Insurance. The event raised more than $150,000 to provide financial support to pediatric cancer patients, their families and research.
The night's Standing Salute, presented by USAA, will feature SFC Richard Stayskal, US Army Green Beret. Richard is a 17-year Army veteran and is currently undergoing treatment at Moffitt for stage IV cancer. A former Marine sniper, he received the Purple Heart after being shot in the line of duty. After recovering he re-enlisted as a Green Beret. Richard is also a recipient of the Bronze Star. He is currently petitioning Congress to overturn the Feres Doctrine, to provide more accountable and critical medical care for military members and their families.
The game's 50/50 drawing will be seeded by the team's proceeds from the Lightning's game on November 23 with the Lightning Foundation's share carrying over. The drawing will benefit Moffitt Cancer Center with kiosks located at sections 109, 123, 215, 230, 308 and 327 along with mobile sellers throughout AMALIE Arena. Fans will have the opportunity to honor those touched by cancer in their lives by signing a large Hockey Fights Cancer sign that will be on display at the stage on Ford Thunder Alley. Fans can also pick up 'I Fight For', 'In Memory Of' and 'Survivor' cards at the stage, as well as at Section 112 during the game. They will also have the opportunity to bid on lavender taped sticks used by the players and other Hockey Fights Cancer themed items at the Lightning Foundation table located at section 123. Lapel pins will also be available for a $5 donation while supplies last.