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‘Pink in the Rink’ hockey game raises money for cancer center

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MASSENA - Pink will be the color of the night Wednesday when the Massena girls’ hockey team takes on Oswego in a game that will serve as a fundraiser for the Richard Winter Cancer Center in Ogdensburg.

The Massena team will be sporting pink jerseys when they face off at 6:30 p.m. at the Massena Arena during the “Pink in the Rink” game. They’re also encouraging fans attending the game to wear pink to support the cause.

Coach Jennifer Gray said fundraisers will also be taking place during the evening. Those include a pink 50-50 raffle and a pink Chuck-A-Puck, and the team will also be selling Coaches vs. Cancer cards.

“All the funds raised will be donated to the Cancer Center in Ogdensburg,” Ms. Gray said, noting funds raised for that organization are “donated locally back to help those struggling with cancer.”

This will be the second year the girls have raised money for the Richard Winter Cancer Center. Last year, the Massena Arena was decorated in pink, with posters, balloons and streamers. The girls wore pink jersey and pink socks and their sticks were taped in pink.

“It kind of spurred from the idea of Coaches vs. Cancer, which the American Cancer Society does. But when you participate in that you don’t have as much say in where the money goes. We really wanted to help people locally, so we donated to cancer treatment in Ogdensburg,” she said.

They, along with the girls’ and boys’ JV and varsity basketball teams and wrestling team, had set a goal last year of raising $1,500 to donate to the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Foundation. They raised $2,300 by the time it was over.

“The girls’ hockey team alone raised half of that. We’re hoping for another big year for our team,” Ms. Gray said.

The cause is one that affects many people, according to the coach.

“I don’t think there’s a girl on the team that hasn’t been touched in some way by a family member or friend with cancer,” she said. “It’s a nice way to give back.”

If tonight’s game is cancelled because of the weather, Ms. Gray said they’ll hold “Pink at the Rink” on Jan. 15 when they face off against Saranac Lake at the Massena Arena.

Athletic Director Timothy J. Hayes said “Pink at the Rink” serves as the kick-off for fundraising efforts by other Massena High School athletic teams.

“It involves the whole athletic department. This is the one that usually kicks it off and gets things started. They raised a lot of money last year,” he said.

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