Devils’ annual Pink the Rink Saturday
The Fredonia campus community will celebrate cancer survivors this Saturday at its 12th annual Pink The Rink.
This year’s game pits the Blue Devils vs. the No. 4 Oswego Lakers at 7 p.m. in the Steele Hall Ice Arena. Pre-sale tickets are available today from 9 a.m. to noon at the Dods Hall Prechtl Office Suite — $7 for adults, $3 for children, $2 for Fredonia students with a valid ID card — with the remaining tickets available Saturday at the Steele Hall ticket office. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
Fredonia players will again wear blue jerseys and socks and each individual jersey will commemorate a cancer survivor or cause. All 28 rostered players will take part in the pre-game skate and every jersey will be presented to the buyers — in some cases individuals, in other cases groups — during a on-ice, post-game ceremony.
The four on-ice game officials will also wear pink and black striped jerseys, which will be auctioned off and also presented Saturday night during the ceremony. There will also be Pink The Rink items for sale in the Steele Hall lobby on game night. All proceeds will benefit The American Cancer Society. Approximately $82,000 has been raised through jersey dedications over the years. Ticket proceeds are also donated by the Fredonia Athletic Department.
Jerseys this year will serve as tributes to Karen Perepezko, LuAnn Zureck, Bob Montgomery, Carol Brown, Margaret (Peggy) Dye, Dustin Letson, Eleanor Reilly, Kathy Chapman Rozanski, Michelle Lynn Vormittag, Jessa Webber, Jim and Annemarie McGrath, Robert and Glenda Fisk, Sydell Walencewicz, Paul Mastrangelo, Judy Kozlowski, Jodi Rzepka, Gary Tripp, Kathleen M. (Dunn) Dempsey, Audrey Almquist, Alfred Alexander Davis, Gerald Charles Hart and Mary Ellen Connor Hart, John Robert Harper Sr., and Kim Rosen. The Delta Phi Epsilon sorority will again pay tribute to all its sisters affected by breast cancer, one jersey will be emblazoned with the word Courage, and two twin brothers from Welland, Ont., Peter and Bob Albano — both cancer survivors — will dedicate a jersey to the Albano Family for the 10th straight year.
“Every year I receive the Pink the Rink biographies from loved ones of the jersey recipients,” Fredonia Head Coach Jeff Meredith said. “I get to read those words that are written about a family member, friend, or colleague and over the years I have realized a few things.
“The first thing that I realized is that in life, the greatest thing we have is the love and friendship from others and that is what will get us through difficult times. As I have read those biographies I know that whoever is battling a real-life adversity, there are always a lot of people around them that love and care for them and are helping provide support on so many levels. When someone we know begins a difficult period of their life, it’s almost like a cavalry of friends and family rally to them in all sorts of ways to assist.
“The second thing I realized is how strong and brave people are. It’s that strength, bravery, and the ability to be positive with what life deals us that helps those battling remain strong. I’ve realized that nobody can tackle things by themselves, and even the strongest need family and friends support. Every biography shares a special story.
“And finally, I’ve realized the pride that survivors exhibit. They’ve climbed the Mount Everest of adversity in life, planted their flag on top, and want to share their story to inspire others. This is what Pink the Rink is all about.”