When the novice Vipers heard their hockey league was looking for a team to wear pink jerseys for cancer awareness, they more than jumped at the chance.
“We’re all in pink,” said Vipers head coach Connor Raesler. “The boys love it. They’ve got the mohawks and pink hair dye and they’re the first ones to reach for the pink tape.”
The kids’ cancer-awareness campaign didn’t end at wearing pink — the group of seven- and eight-year-old boys and one girl decided they would take it one step further and change the team’s name for their playoff run to the Pink Panthers.
Raesler called the campaign a perfect fit for his team. One of his players, Ethan Andrews, has an older sister who was stricken with cancer when she was four.
“Ethan’s older sister had a tough fight with cancer, but she is doing well now,” said Amy Andrews, Ethan’s mom. “We created the Small and Mighty celebration seven years ago to honour these children and their siblings who have gone through so much.”
The Pink Panthers have decided to donate all the proceeds they make from selling their new jerseys after the playoffs to the Small and Mighty foundation.
“We’re going to raise probably about $1,500 over the next week just in sweater sales,” Raesler said. “And that’s on top of the awareness.”
All proceeds donated to the Small and Mighty will go to the Kids With Cancer Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern Alberta.
“They did so much to help us on our journey,” Andrews said. “We wanted to be able to give back to them.”