This year, Hockey Regina became the first organization in Saskatchewan to join the NHL in a mission to fight cancer.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a 21-year-old campaign led by the NHL to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“There’s not one person that isn’t affected by cancer,” said Joanne Eberle, manager of communications and events for Hockey Regina.
“We have one child on a team who has leukemia, and we have parents who are fighting their own battle with cancer.”
Hockey Regina has over 170 teams with “a good number of them donating.” Their goal is to raise $10,000.
“Being the first in Saskatchewan and Alberta we want to set the bar high,” said Eberle.
Players aged five to 17 have been fundraising in their own unique way. This includes donating their birthday money to holding bake sales.
“The highlights of this would be the little kids doing their fundraising on their own,” said Rodger Lohman, annual giving coordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society of Saskatchewan.
Players for the Atom B Bisons even donated their allowance toward their team’s fundraiser.
“The little guys want to do a lot but it’s harder for them to make the big bucks that some of the older teams do,” said Aurora Marinari, annual giving coordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society of Saskatchewan.
“But it’s more heartfelt because it’s coming from them personally as opposed to fans in the stands. It’s cute to see how they’re participating.”
On Saturday, Hockey Regina is hosting a Lavender Game at the Co-Operators Arena to raise money for Hockey Fights Cancer.
The event – which begins at 11:45 a.m. – will feature the Regina Rebels and the Pat Canadians taking on out-of-town teams. Both home teams will be sporting lavender jerseys, which will be auctioned off after the game.
But the day isn’t just about hockey and raising money, said Eberle.
“It’s a day for remembrance to all those we have lost to cancer.”