Tonight at the Prudential Center, as the Devils host the San Jose Sharks, and in several other NHL arenas across the United States, hockey fans worldwide can unite in a fight that goes beyond fists and gloves. I’m sure by now most of us have seen or heard the public service announcements and print flyers featuring several NHL stars urging us to “join the fight” against cancer by supporting the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.
To promote the month-long initiative, each of the 30 NHL teams has dedicated one night in October as “Hockey Fights Cancer” Awareness Night. Ours is tonight! There will be several things happening tonight at the Prudential Center to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer and to encourage those who have been affected firsthand by the disease. The National Anthem will be sung by Samantha Dango, a cancer survivor’s daughter. Young patients and other children affected by the disease from the Devils’ and Prudential Center’s local hospital partners (the Barnabas Health System, Atlantic Health System, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and Holy Name Medical Center) have been invited to attend tonight, some of whom will be participating in Zamboni rides during intermission.
The Devils will once again hold a Mystery Puck sale to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer. Each signed puck will be gift-bagged so that you don’t know whose signature you have received until after you buy it. The pucks will go on sale in the main concourse when the doors open. Be sure and arrive early to reserve your place in line for this fun and worthwhile opportunity.
In addition, collections will be taking place for donations at entrance points throughout The Rock. Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise will be on sale tonight at the Devils Den. Devils’ coaching staff and broadcasters will be wearing ties, hats, jackets, and other official apparel. The Hockey Fights Cancer PSAs will be aired throughout the evening, some featuring Devils players. Devils and Prudential Center staff will be wearing Hockey Fights Cancer pins and lavender ribbons to show their support. The Devils homepage and social media pages will all keep with the Hockey Fights Cancer theme. All proceeds from tonight’s events will be donated back to the Devils’ and Prudential Center’s local hospital partners.
Hockey Fights Cancer was founded in December 1998 by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association as a way to raise money and awareness in cancer research, prevention, and care. The initiative has raised over $12 million so far. Hockey Fights Cancer is a part of the NHL’s “Biggest Assist Happens off the Ice” campaign, which consists of several initiatives designed to address and improve social issues affecting people worldwide.
I’m sure we all know or know of somebody who has been affected by cancer. As we work and progress towards finding a cure for this disease, let’s all remember that we are ALL on the same team. Devils Army, let’s unite and fight against a common enemy. Tonight will definitely be a memorable, fun, and touching evening. I hope to see some of you there!