Hockey Fights Cancer. (Photo from https://www.nhl.com/community/hockey-fights-cancer/)

Hockey Fights Cancer initiative coming to CK

You can expect to see purple popping up in arenas across Chatham-Kent this fall.

Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Community Fundraising Specialist Gerry Harvieux said the local chapter is looking to expand Chatham-Kent’s participation in Hockey Fights Cancer.

The initiative, founded in 1998 by the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), has raised more than $20 million for cancer programs across North America over the past 20 years.

Harvieux said all of the money that’s raised locally will stay in Chatham-Kent and will go to support a number of local services including wigs, headscarves, support materials, and rides to and from treatments.

“We do hundreds of rides a year… for radiation treatments [in London and Windsor] that aren’t available locally,” said Harvieux. “On average, each one of those rides costs a minimum of $50 in expenses, so we need a way to fund that sort of thing.”

How local teams choose to participate will be up to them, according to Harvieux, but he says staff will also be available to provide any guidance the participants need.

“We have plenty of support materials and fundraising ideas to help ensure a team or league’s event will be successful,” said Harvieux. “We provide the tools and assist in the promotion; your team or league provides the players and support volunteers.”

Harvieux said some examples of a fundraising event include a chuck-a-puck event or having individual players from two teams collect pledges and then have a special game.

Right now, Harvieux said he has been reaching out to various minor hockey and junior hockey associations across Chatham-Kent to see if they are interested in participating in a Hockey Fights Cancer event. He said he already has commitments from the Wheatley Sharks and the Peewee Major AA Cobras and is hoping to get even more teams on board.

Hockey Fights Cancer events typically take place in November, but Harvieux said the events aren’t limited to just that month.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the initiative can contact Harvieux at the local CCS office by calling 519 352 3960 ext. 3933 or by emailing him at gerry.harvieux@ontario.cancer.ca.