Saanich Junior Braves turn the rink PINK in Friday fundraiser

Annual event supports Anneswer to Cancer and Victoria Hospice

From centre ice to top of the stands, Pearkes Arena will be awash with a sea of pink Friday, Oct. 26 when the Saanich Junior Braves host the eighth annual Pink in Rink fundraiser.

The Braves are also proud to be joining forces for the third year with Brett Hyslop’s Anneswer to Cancer fundraiser for Victoria Hospice.

The Braves continue to support this heartfelt event in recognition of cancer’s widespread impact, says Saanich Braves co-owner Norm Kelly.

“I don’t know anyone who has not been affected by this terrible illness. In the last few months a close family member of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Anneswer for Cancer is a way for the Saanich Junior Braves players and the Braves hockey family to give back to our community, and to a very worthy cause – the eradication of a terrible illness,” Kelly says. “My co-owner and best friend Ed Geric and I have supported this cause with passion, pride and commitment and we will not rest while cancer continues to affect so many.”

In total, the Braves’ Pink in the Rink events have raised more than $100,000, including $45,000 in the last three years. Growing bigger and better every year, the team smashed the goal of $15,000 last year.

“Pink in the Rink was amazing last year. We exceeded our fundraising goals and had a great turnout. We had several players shave their heads, and players worked exceptionally hard on raising money through the online donation page,” says the Braves’ Laura Peltier.

The Braves will donate all proceeds from ticket sales, chuck-a-puck, 50/50, silent auction and a post-game jersey auction to Anneswer to Cancer, founded in memory of Hyslop’s mother.

Some of your favourite Braves player will also shave their heads as a finale to the fundraiser.

“Cancer has affected my family many times,” says Braves forward Kyle Mace, a keen fundraiser who has shaved his head in support of those experiencing cancer. “The care that Victoria Hospice was able to give to our friends and family was remarkable and Anneswer to Cancer is our way of supporting and giving back to allow others to be blessed with the unbelievable care that Hospice provides.”

This kind of community involvement is key for the Braves and the team is thankful for the strong community that allows them to increase the outreach and donations.

“This event is important to us for so many reasons. Not only do we want to teach our team about giving back to the community, but also about working together to make a difference in a way that actually touches each of us in some way,” Kelly says.

“In speaking with many of the players, they all say cancer has affected their lives in some way or another. Whether it was a family member, a family friend, or a fellow team mate, they have seen what it does to people, and they want to make a difference. Knowing that 100 per cent of the funds raised go directly back to Victoria Hospice is extremely rewarding for us, as we know how much good they do for so many people in those hard final days.”

With the puck dropping at 6:30 p.m. Friday, the doors will open at 6 p.m. for anyone wanting to donate or check out the silent auction before the game.

Tickets are just $9 at the door, or $7 for students and seniors and $5 for children.

For more information about the Braves visit saanichbraves.ca.

To learn more about Anneswer to Cancer visit anneswertocancer.com.

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