The Marquette Rangers collected nearly $9,000 in bids for their "Paint the Place Pink" night at Lakeview Arena last Thursday, auctioning off their customized pink jerseys to benefit the Marquette General Hospital Cancer Center.
Included in the bidding were the three pink- and black-striped jerseys worn by the officials during the event, which drew a near-record crowd of 2,179 people.
"When we first met with Marquette General Hospital, we really had no idea what response we'd get" said Rangers director of marketing and public relations Mark Evans. "Obviously, you hope for the best, but this event clearly took on a life of its own. It brought out people from all walks of life, people who had never even seen a hockey game before, but they were here to support the Cancer Center and that's what matters the most.
"We're very grateful to have been involved in this unique and successful fundraising and awareness raising campaign."
Prior to the game, The Marquette General Foundation sold commemorative pink T-shirts for fans to wear and sold nearly 1000 of them with all proceeds benefiting the Cancer Center. The shirts were provided by The Screened Image of Marquette, owned by Lorrie Hayes, herself a Breast Cancer survivor of nearly three years.
"When we first spoke, Lorrie and I thought maybe 200-250 shirts might be the limit," Evans added. "The response was humbling to say the least, and effective as most of those T-shirts were in the crowd that night.
"As much as the money is important, the awareness gained in this event we hope will go a million miles towards helping the Cancer Center and the fine work they do in treating cancer patients of all kinds here in the Upper Peninsula. I'll be curious to see if it's possible to top this next year."
For more on how to help the MGH Cancer Center, contact the MGH Foundation at 906-225-6910, or online at www.mgh.org/foundation.