Florida Gulf Coast University Ice Hockey Thinks Pink2014-04-07
A month-long initiative from FGCU culminated in a tremendous donation to Partners for Breast Cancer Care this past October.
Think pink, that’s what Florida Gulf Coast University DII and DIII Ice Hockey players did this past October.
In an effort to give back to the community and to honor breast cancer patients and survivors, the players and fans on both teams “painted” the rink pink. Pink paper helmets were sold to help raise awareness and funds for the Partners for Breast Cancer Care; and throughout the arena, people proudly wore them in the bleachers, along the boards, and even the players posed for a photo op wearing them.
A generous sponsor donated the pink helmets, jerseys and socks for both teams to wear during the month of October. Throughout the month, tables were set up with silent auction sheets representing each player’s jersey. At the conclusion of the last game in October, the highest bidder gave their donation and received their jersey. It was very exciting to see the bidding wars that occurred and to raise a good deal of money for such a great cause.
The summer was spent attempting to find a deserving charity; one whose administrative staff did not reap financial rewards, and where the funds would be put to good use and stay in the southwest Florida area. Partners for Breast Cancer Care is based in Fort Myers, Florida. All of the funds received are used to help breast cancer patients in the immediate area, who are unable to provide financially for treatment and follow up. They thrive on donations and grants only, and are a United Way agency which relies on community efforts to continue to save lives in Lee County. Once the decision was made, a wonderful alliance was formed. Each game found the representatives from the Partners for Breast Cancer Care cheering on the Eagles, as well as distributing pamphlets and advice to all who were interested.
Proudly, at the close of the bidding, FGCU was able to present a check for over $4000.00. That money was used to provide diagnostic testing and screening for local women and men in need. It was a humbling experience and close to the hearts of many, as players and volunteers alike had personal experience with breast cancer and the devastation it can cause.
As a final gesture, the players for both teams signed one of the pink jerseys and presented it to the staff at Partners for Breast Cancer Care. Representing Florida Gulf Coast University for the presentation were Michael Piatek, captain of the DIII team, and Anthony Yezek, assistant captain of the DII team, and president of Eagles’ Ice Hockey.
“We are so grateful for the FGCU Eagles Hockey Team for their fundraiser in October which provided screening and diagnostic testing for 63 women (and men) who otherwise could not afford it,” said an email from representatives of Partners for Breast Cancer Care. “You just never know whose life might be saved thanks to the TEAM. They are truly remarkable and we just can’t thank them enough.”