By Alex Becker ’18
Many sports leagues take action for various different charity groups throughout their seasons. The NHL participates in Hockey Fights Cancer which spans across the whole month of October. The NFL has a Crucial Catch game for each team in the league.
“I don’t think I necessarily knew the impact that these games had until I personally was sitting in a place of impact,” said senior cancer survivor Shannon Bartkus. “Games such as these influence the lives of current cancer patients, those who will soon be diagnosed, loved ones, caregivers, and communities.”
Hockey Fights Cancer focuses on raising money and awareness for different forms of cancer such as pediatric, blood, prostate, and pancreatic. It began in December of 1998 through efforts of the NHL and the NHL Player Association.
According to the the NHL’s website, they have donated more than 16 million dollars to support cancer programs at national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities, and local charities.
Every team in the league have a game throughout October dedicated to cancer awareness. Each player wears a purple jersey during warm ups that is later auctioned off. The donations are made to the NHL Foundation and then given out to charities like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Movember Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
According to alexslemonade.org, in store donations “can be made at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store to make a donation, no purchase necessary. The National Hockey League Foundation and Reebok will each match every $1.00 donated by fans (up to $2,500 in total donations).”
When it comes to the NFL, the same efforts are made, but the focus is on breast cancer throughout October. The league is partnered with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness of the importance of breast cancer screenings.
Just like the NHL, game worn items are auctioned off. According to the NFL’s website, 100% of that sale’s price will go to the American Cancer Society’s CHANGE program.
“CHANGE grants have been awarded to community partners to provide education, outreach, navigation and access to cancer screening within communities experiencing an unequal burden of cancer,” according to the website. 100% of the proceeds of their items sold at retail locations are donated to the ACS as well.
“When NFL and NHL teams host games raising awareness and funds, we’re one day closer to finding a cure, which means we’re one step closer to a brighter future for those currently fighting and those who will hopefully be spared from having to,” said Bartkus.