MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Saturday night the Northern Michigan University Men’s D2 Hockey Team takes on the Bemidji State Beavers, but it’s more than just a game on the ice.
The team is putting on their first-ever ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ event during the game. October is Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of that, they are asking people to wear lavender, which is the color used to show support of all cancer types, the founder of Ainsley’s Halo will give a presentation and tell her daughter’s story and proceeds from the event ill be donated to Northwoods Airlifeline. That is a non-profit organization based in Iron Mountain where volunteer pilots giver their time and aircraft to help patients and their families with urgent medical needs for services not found locally.
“Obviously when you take away hockey, you take away any sport, there are things that are bigger than the game itself,” said Pete Formolo, Head Coach, NMU Men’s D2 Hockey. “Cancer is one of them. Cancer is something that we all have loved ones or maybe someone you know who suffered from cancer. So basically this team is self funded. We do rely on a lot of community support. A lot of fundraising and sponsorship, which we’re always looking for and the point of this is, we always want to give back something to the community. This community gives so much to sports in general. Not just hockey, but for football, baseball, anything else you can think of, the community gives so much. So for us to have a weekend where we can give something back to the community is one of our goals this year, so I think we can do that this weekend.”
With it being the first year putting this event on, they hope this is something they can continue to do in the future.
“I really hope so,” said Nate Maceroni, Vice President, NMU Men’s D2 Hockey. “I’m going to be around next year so I really do want something like this to happen next year. I think we have a lot of young guys who are really interested in what we’re doing. They’ve been helping with the publicity and stuff like that. It’s just been totally amazing with all the help that obviously my coaches have put into this and my teammates. We want to involved all of Marquette to help fight a common cause. Everybody’s been affected by cancer. The one thing that really inspired me to do this, this season was one of our teammates actually had a parent who was diagnosed with cancer over the summer, so it’s really fresh in my mind. I wanted to do something that’s meaningful for obviously the Marquette community, for those families who are affected by cancer and we wanted to bring it together in a fun event that could be shared by all ages.”
Puck drops at Lakeview Arena at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Admission is a $5 minimum donation to enter and NMU students wearing lavender get in for free.