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Hockey teams go pink for cancer research

By Tyler Penney [4]

BELLEVILLE – The Kingston Frontenacs [5] held their fourth annual Pink in the Rink game Friday against the Peterborough Petes.

The players on the Ontario Hockey League team traded their classic black and gold uniforms for limited-edition pink jerseys and socks. The uniforms will later be auctioned off, with proceeds donated to the Canadian Cancer Society [6].

Ticket packages were on sale for $25 and included a limited-edition pink shirt, your ticket to the game and a $5 donation to the cancer society.

The Belleville Bulls [7] also used to participate in the annual Pink in the Rink game, with proceeds going to Belleville General Hospital Foundation [8]. The Bulls’ final Pink in the Rink game, last Feb. 21, raised over $60,000. The Bulls also used to take part in other events in the community, such as visiting the hospital’s pediatrics unit.

“They were a good support to the community,” said Jenn Barrett, director of development at BGH.

The biggest part of the Bulls’ annual fundraiser was auctioning off the pink jerseys after the game. All of the proceeds were donated, and the Bulls paid for the jerseys out of their own pocket.

People attending the game would walk into the Yardmen Arena and see a sea of pink, Barrett said. “What that sea of pink represents (was) the best part,” she added.

“Those are people that are visibly supporting not only cancer care but cancer care right in the community. It was definitely an emotional event.”

Now that the Bulls have moved to Hamilton, Ont., BGH and its community partners have come up with some creative ways to make up for the lost funds. “There are some fantastic events, from weight-loss challenges to marathons to lemonade stands,” Barrett said.

The Trenton Golden Hawks [9] also have an annual Pink in the Rink game. Brad Warner, a community fundraising specialist at the Hastings-Prince Edward branch of the cancer society, said he expects to see a spike in attendance at next one, which takes place Jan. 6 in a game against the Wellington Dukes [10].

“The Golden Hawks have had an increased attendance since the Bulls left,” Warner noted.

At the game, you can expect to see a silent auction, a jersey auction, target-shooting competitions and pick-a-prize games. The Golden Hawks usually raise over $10,000 at the event.

One in nine women in Ontario will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the cancer society says. “I think an event like Pink in the Rink will help save these women,” said Warner.

“Cancer research money is so important to raise the survival rate and put money towards prevention.”

If you’re interested in attending the Golden Hawks’ Pink in the Rink game, you can purchase tickets at the Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens box office.