Monday, October 13, 2008

Whalers skate for breast cancer Friday night

The primary colors of the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers are blue and green.

The primary colors found on a hockey player after a collision are black and blue.

The Whalers will be skating for an excellent cause of a different color on Friday at 7:05pm when they take on the Niagara IceDogs at Compuware Arena during the team’s first annual Pink Out! For Breast Cancer Awareness.

The event is first for the Whalers and something they hope to make an annual event during the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well as Hockey Fights Cancer Month.

“Our Pink Out! is a chance for our players, our sponsors and our fans to rally together to increase breast cancer awareness and raise funds in a way that is familiar and fun for us. We promise it will be pink. And, it will be memorable,” said Denise Ronayne, Whalers director of sales and marketing. “We are so grateful to all of our corporate partners who helped us make this event relevant in our community. And importantly, there’s a natural tie-in with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, who will receive the proceeds.”

Plymouth owner Peter Karmanos, Jr., who is also the CEO and co-founder of the Compuware Corporation, established the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in 1995. Based in midtown Detroit, Karmanos is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $216 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, the Karmanos Cancer Center is among the nation’s best cancer centers.

Several of the Whalers corporate sponsors are contributing to make the Pink Out! a special event:

Vanity Salon, located at 857 Penniman in Plymouth, will be dyeing Whaler players hair pink tomorrow from 5-8pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend the event. In addition, Vanity Salon will have stylists at the game creating fancy pink ribbon up-dos for a donation.

Woody's Bar-B-Q, located at 44741 Five Mile Road, will be donating 500 pink bandanas. You'll also see their Pink Pig Mascot at the event on October 17.

Bianco Tours will be bringing in the Eastern Michigan University Sports Marketing Group, who donated their time and effort to sell tickets for the event.

Vanessa's Flowers, located at 545 Ann Arbor Road, will be donating pink carnations.

The Whalers were recently affected by cancer with the passing of co-owner Thomas Thewes, who lost his battle with leukemia on September 28. In addition, Mary Beth Bloom, a land parent of Whalers' defenseman Leo Jenner and a breast cancer survivor, will drop a ceremonial faceoff at the start of the game.

“It would be an honor to represent all the women and men with breast cancer,” said Bloom.

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