Hockey Fights Cancer Nights dotted the NHL schedule in the month of November as each franchise held fundraising nights to support the hunt for a cure. For the Nashville Predators, though, one day wasn't enough.
The Preds organization and the Nashville Predators Foundation raised nearly $100,000 in its largest single fundraising initiative ever during Hockey Fights Cancer Week. More than 125 volunteers came together to raise money and awareness during two home games before Thanksgiving, and Preds staff members also participated in community events outside the arena throughout the week.
"We're always asking people for financial donations, but to allow our staff to go volunteer and give time as well makes it even more meaningful," said Predators Senior Director of Community Relations Rebecca King. "It's something for our staff, too."
On top of the more than $95,000 raised online or in person through donations and auctions for the 365 Fund presented by Twice Daily, the Preds staff could be found across Nashville giving back. Staff members served lunch at Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community, as well as at the Ronald McDonald House, which offers a place to relax for parents and family members of those receiving treatment at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Video: HFC guest Andie Owen drops ceremonial puck
At the games - Nov. 14 against Washington and Nov. 18 versus Colorado - children from the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital got to experience a Preds game from a rare perspective, riding the Zamboni in between periods and enjoying the action from suites. They dished out pregame high fives from the tunnel as Preds players took the ice in commemorative lavender "HFC" warm-up jerseys.
Each jersey included a patch inscribed with the name of a player's family member or friend affected by cancer. Around the arena, fans held similar signs with the message, "I Fight For..." Many wore special event cowboy hats emulating Preds defenseman P.K. Subban.
The visiting children also each donned personalized Preds jerseys for the game.
"These children we got to meet on Hockey Fights Cancer Night got to experience some pretty unique opportunities," King said. "They have their names on the backs of their jerseys and fans know who they are. They're celebrities."