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Belleville Senators host second annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night

The Belleville Senators held their second annual hockey fights cancer night at the CAA Arena. Photo courtesy Twitter/BellevilleSens.

By Alex Mahar [1]

BELLEVILLE – The CAA Arena was decked out in lavender on Saturday night as the Belleville Senators and the Canadian Cancer Society’s Hastings and Prince Edward chapter joined forces in support of cancer victims.

It’s the second year that the B-Sens hit the ice in special uniforms for the fundraiser.

“The vibe in the arena was amazing, we had families and children who are going through cancer treatment at the game and had the opportunity to take them down to the dressing room and meet the players and go on a tour it was really special to give these children who have been through so much already such an amazing experience,”said Breanne Matthews, marketing manager of the team.

This year the B-Sens wanted a local aspect to the fundraising. The team chose the Wheels of Hope Program [2] as the main recipient, Matthews added.

Wheels of Hope recruits volunteers to drive patients to their appointments across Ontario.

“Patients aren’t often able to drive themselves to treatment, especially in rural areas like the Quinte region, so it’s important to have volunteers who give their time to drive wherever they are needed to go,” said Jessica Klein who oversees community fundraising for the local Canadian Cancer Society chapter.

To raise money, the B-Sens held silent and online auctions, a ticket raffle and even auctioned off game-worn, special addition lavender jerseys that the team wears in honour of Hockey Fights Cancer Night. [3]

The Belleville Senators auctioned off team worn jerseys after Saturday nights game. Photo by Alex Mahar, QNet News

CAA Belleville also welcomed the group Fighting the Truth [4] inside their suite for the game. Fighting the Truth is a non-profit organization which supports parents who have lost their children to cancer.

CAA Belleville shows its support for victims, families and supporters of Hockey Fights Cancer Night in Belleville. Photo credited to Cynthia Clarkson Johnston

“We know one in every two Canadians will face cancer at some point in their lives which what makes Hockey Fights Cancer Night so powerful. It brings forward a sense of community and shows people that their family, community and team support them,” said Klein.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national partner with the American Hockey League. This year the focus was to reach out to more minor hockey teams to get kids playing for the cause.

Last year, the Belleville Senators raised $20,000 for cancer research and support programs plus another $4,000 from local minor hockey teams who participated.

The totals for this year haven’t been announced yet as online auctions are still open and minor hockey teams continue to raise money.

On the ice the B-Sens fell 4-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals.