The Pittsburgh Penguins held their annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night on October 27 when the team hosted the New York Islanders. The month of October highlights Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC), a league-wide initiative to raise awareness and funds for such a devastating disease, but on Thursday, the team amplified the focus.
Penguins players have been wearing HFC decals on their helmets all month and some players filmed Public Service Announcements which aired during games in October. The team joined the coaching staff, broadcasters, hockey operations and front office staff in donning special HFC ties. The team also wore purple jerseys during their morning skate and pre-game warm-ups. The purple jerseys and players’ ties were autographed and will be featured online at NHL Auctions. Proceeds from the online auction will benefit the Mario Lemieux Foundation and UPMC Cancer Centers.
Fans entering CONSOL Energy Center gates from Washington Place were treated to a display of purple lights playing along the glass spine and on the arena’s LED boards. All fans attending the game received a commemorative Cancer Awareness Car Magnet and Photo Frame courtesy of UPMC Cancer Centers.
Cancer survivor and longtime Penguins fan, Cy Clark, helped kick off the evening’s festivities by dropping the ceremonial first puck.
The Penguins Ice Crew wore HFC apparel to showcase the special merchandise that is available for purchase in the PensGear store and wrapped their shovels and pails in the signature lavender color. The drivers of the CONSOL Energy Center Zamboni ice resurfacing machines also displayed their HFC pride by wearing purple and white hats as well.
The Penguins recognized and supported several charitable organizations for their efforts in cancer research or assisting those impacted by the disease – UPMC Cancer Centers, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Cancer Society. Each organization had a presence on the concourse and distributed literature to promote education about the disease.
Young cancer patients from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Make-A-Wish Foundation experienced the evening in luxury from Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
’s charity suites. Each child received a gift bag and special HFC apparel compliments of Sidney Crosby
, Evgeni Malkin
and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two children from each charity had the opportunity of a lifetime when they were selected to ride the Zambonis pre-game and during the first intermission.
Adult patients and cancer survivors from UPMC Cancer Centers were not left out of the fun as the Pittsburgh Penguins donated a suite for those individuals and their families to also enjoy the game.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a component of the NHL's "Biggest Assist Happens off the Ice" campaign, the League's long-standing tradition of addressing important social issues in North America and around the world.
The Hockey Fights Cancer program is a joint initiative founded in December 1998 by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association to raise money and awareness for hockey's most important fight. To date, more than $12 million has been raised to support national and local cancer research institutions, Children's Hospitals, player charities and local cancer organizations.
Without our fans, corporate marketing partners and broadcast partners, this program would not be the outstanding success that it is and we thank each fan and partner for their support.