Every year, the NHL holds a special Hockey Fights Cancer night at all 31 arenas, raising more than $20 million to support national and local cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities and local charities. It’s a special event that is well attended and comes once every October or November to each NHL city.
But what about the other 364 nights of the year? Does Hockey Fights Cancer take the rest of the year off?
As you probably guessed, it does not. Hockey Fights Cancer is more than just a yearly tradition; it’s a year-long battle. Although you may only hear about it one night a year in your favorite team’s town, the NHL, American Cancer Society and Canadian Cancer Society are behind the scenes, helping raise money at every turn for prevention, research and awareness.
The NHL, as well as its many partners, feature many programs that run year long. None are more exciting than the HFC Assist program, though.
From November through April, HFC Assist works with youth and local hockey teams between the ages of 6 and 18 years old. It functions on a sign-up basis, allowing you to take control of when HFC Assist helps your team or community raise funds for Hockey Fights Cancer.
You simply visit the link above, register and a representative from the American Cancer Society reaches out directly to you to help you get started. Work with your team to raise funds, and the HFC Assist program hooks you up with online help to spread the word, as well as helmet decals and lavender stick tape to promote your initiative.
For those not near an NHL arena, or for those who simply want to do more, this is a perfect initiative to help fight cancer.
Cigna, the official health insurance provider of the NHL, has inserted itself as a leader in the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. Starting in October of this season, they introduced the Every Save Counts program, which has donated over $37,306, and counting, this season to the NHL’s cancer initiative.
Although you can make donations to Every Save Counts at the link above, this one ties NHL goaltenders in with Hockey Fights Cancer. For every save made in the NHL this season, Cigna will donate a $1. They also match dollar-for-dollar every donation to Hockey Fights Cancer $25 or more.
This truly makes people wish for a lot of offense, no defense but excellent goaltending in each game. Someone call Ben Scrivens — we need another 49-save shutout!
By now, you’ve probably heard of Movember, the movement to grow a mustache in November to draw attention to men’s health. Did you know that, like the NHL’s cancer-awareness initiative, Movember is an actual organization that raises funds year-round?
By visiting the link above, you can help spread the word to prevent young male death, whether it be from prostate cancer and testicular cancer, as well as mental health and suicide prevention.
You don’t have to grow the ‘stache year-round (unless you really want to), but the awareness doesn’t stop when the calendar hits December.
Shop Hockey Fights Cancer
One way you can always help the cause is to buy Hockey Fights Cancer-branded apparel, hockey tape or fan items. There are plenty of places to do this, but the easiest to navigate to is shop.nhl.com. Here you’ll find your favorite team’s shirts, jerseys, hats, glasses and much more.
If you shop elsewhere, be sure to look for wording in the description area that a percentage of funds go to the proper organization, or that a donation is made with each HFC purchase.
Join the Conversation
Doing your part doesn’t always require a portion of your paycheck. Simply using the hashtag #hockeyfightscancer year-round brings awareness to the fight and honors those that are fighting or have fought the good fight. Make others aware of your commitment to, one day, finding a cure.
Of course, keep your eye on the NHL calendar for HFC events in your favorite team’s arena every season.
Interested in learning more about cancer prevention, awareness or treatment? Check out the following links:
- American Cancer Society
- Canadian Cancer Society
- National Cancer Institute
- The Ultimate Cancer Medicare Guide: What You Need To Know
- Mayo Clinic