- Week-long online auction, in-arena tributes and other fundraisers highlight annual commemoration to raise awareness for hockey’s most important fight
The Detroit Red Wings are proud to once again team up with the American Cancer Society for Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Thursday, Nov. 30 as the organizations join forces to bring awareness to pediatric cancer and raise money for research, in partnership with Comerica Bank.
To join the fight against this dreaded disease, the Red Wings are hosting several activities and fundraisers before, during and after Thursday’s Hockey Fights Cancer game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.
“As the NHL celebrates 25 years of impact through Hockey Fights Cancer in communities across North America, the Detroit Red Wings remain steadfast in our collective approach to bring resources and awareness toward reducing the future of cancer,” said Kevin Brown, director of community impact for Ilitch Sports + Entertainment. “We’re proud of the strong partnership we’ve built with the American Cancer Society and our friends at Comerica Bank – working together on solutions that help people fulfill their potential without fear of a cancer diagnosis cutting those dreams short.”
On Monday, Nov. 27, members of the Lady Wings and Red Wings’ team chef Bill Ferrill visited Detroit’s Ronald McDonald House to cook & serve lunch for families that are currently residing at the House.
Autographed lavender Red Wings jerseys will be available for auction online starting at 7 p.m. on November 30 and through 7 p.m. on December 7. Fans can bid on the jerseys at DetroitRedWings.com/Auction.
In addition to the jerseys, fans can purchase one of 200 specialty Hockey Fights Cancer pucks on the concourse prior to and during the game, through the second intermission. One of the mystery pucks will be gold and signed by Alex DeBrincat. Whichever fan purchases this puck will win a future meet and greet with DeBrincat, who currently leads the Red Wings with 12 goals this season.
Proceeds from 50/50 raffle sales, the autographed jerseys and specialty pucks will benefit the American Cancer Society and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, contributing to the growth of hockey across Michigan. Comerica Bank will match the first $10,000 raised by fundraising efforts tied to Hockey Fights Cancer Night.
“We stand united with the Detroit Red Wings, National Hockey League and American Cancer Society to defeat cancer and bench it from ever playing a part in our lives,” said Steve Davis, Comerica Bank Michigan market president. “Pediatric cancer has devastating effects on children battling the deadly disease as well as on their families. By supporting Hockey Fights Cancer Night, we hope that we help increase awareness and save lives while investing in game-changing research that will find groundbreaking treatment and cures.”
The Red Wings and Comerica Bank will invite 100 pediatric cancer patients, survivors, researchers and American Cancer Society supporters to attend Hockey Fights Cancer Night as guests of the organizations.
Fans can pick up a special “I Fight For” card in the concourse, fill it out and hold them up during a league-wide, special moment in the arena. There will also be a giant purple chair on the concourse for a photo opportunity that fans can enjoy.
“We are grateful for an amazing partnership with the Detroit Red Wings that provides awareness and funding for our work in childhood cancer,” said Jenni Beamer, senior executive director of the American Cancer Society in Michigan. “Together, we’re making an impact directly supporting research, advocacy and patient services dedicated to childhood cancer. And, through the Hockey Fights Cancer game, the Red Wings provide our youngest cancer fighters and their families with an unforgettable experience and opportunity to meet their heroes and forget about cancer for a while.”
Multiple cancer fighters and survivors will help the Red Wings start the game. Vann Burpee, a 12-year-old brain tumor survivor, will be the honorary puck-drop captain for the game.
Grayson Briones, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June and completed his chemotherapy treatments in September, will be the youth skater of the game. The national anthem will be sung by LaTorea McBride, a three-year breast cancer survivor.
Ryan Cox will set off the honorary goal horn to start the game. Cox is an 18-year-old Allen Park native and survivor of Burkitt’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is currently studying anesthesiology at Eastern Michigan University to assist children going through cancer treatment.
Fans will also see a video highlighting some of the cancer genetics research work done by Red Wings assistant coach Jay Varady’s wife, Joy Varady.
The Detroit Red Wings Foundation was recently recognized at the 2023 American Cancer Society’s Detroit Discovery Ball as the American Cancer Society’s Community Athletic Award Honoree for its many years of partnership and support of the American Cancer Society, specifically focused on fundraising for their pediatric research.