The Mahoning Valley Phantoms have announced that the team will be partnering with the Mario Lemieux Foundation to host a night to benefit the fight against cancer at the Chevrolet Centre.
Following the Phantoms’ January 10 game against the Motor City Machine, the team will auction off the special Mario Lemieux Foundation jerseys that they will wear that night against the Machine, with the proceeds going to the Foundation.
Phantoms president Bruce J. Zoldan says that the team is thrilled to team up with the Mario Lemieux Foundation for the event.
“It’s a great honor to host the Mario Lemieux Foundation Night at the Phantoms game at the Chevrolet Centre,” said Zoldan. “It’s such an important cause and to have one of the all-time great hockey players associated with it is a great honor for the Phantoms organization.”
This is the first time that the Phantoms have partnered with the Foundation, formed in 1993 by Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins who had his 1993-04 NHL season cut short when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.
After a successful battle with Hodgkin’s, the eventual NHL Hall of Famer was cancer free but his experience led him to focus on ways to assist those who were not so fortunate.
The main objective of the Mario Lemieux Foundation is to fund promising medical research projects being conducted by talented scientists.
Among the donations made by the Foundation was a $5 million gift to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to establish the Mario Lemieux Centers for Patient Care and Research in 2001 and a $2 million gift to the Children's Home of Pittsburgh in 2005.
Mario Lemieux Foundation spokesman Andrew Parish says the jersey auction is an exciting new fundraising avenue for the Foundation.
“The Mario Lemieux Foundation is thrilled to be the recipient of the Mahoning Valley Phantoms’ Uniform Night Fundraiser,” said Parish. “The jersey auction is truly going to be a unique event for the Foundation, and the winning bidders are each going to walk away with a really unique item.
“Mario is happy to partner with an organization like the Phantoms who work to further the sport of hockey in the United States, while at the same time work to give back the community.”
Fans will be able to make early bids on the special Mario Lemieux Foundation jerseys at MVPPhantoms.com starting on January 3. The live jersey auction will take place following the Phantoms’ January 10 contest against Motor City at the Chevrolet Centre.
Fans can find out more information on the Mario Lemieux Foundation by visiting MarioLemieux.org on the Internet.
OUTLAWS RETIRE JERSEYS: The North Iowa Outlaws will retire the jerseys of former players Matt Morin, Max Mobley and Ross Ring-Jarvi prior to their Saturday, December 20 games against the Albert Lea Thunder.
Morin, Mobley and Ring-Jarvi all started with the Outlaws during the inaugural 2005-06 season and played three seasons.
These are the first three jerseys to be retired in team history, though former defenseman Chris Giebe has his World Junior Tournament No. 6 jersey hanging from his time with the German National Team.
Mobley is currently playing Division I for St. Lawrence University, while Morin (University of Wisconsin-Stout) and Ring-Jarvi (Gustavus-Adolphus College) are at the Division III level.
“We’re excited to be able to honor these players for their commitment to the program and serving as symbols for what we’re trying to do with this team,” said Outlaws head coach Jeff Crouse, who served as an assistant with the team the previous three seasons.
Mobley, from Glendale, Ariz., played in 183 career games with 141 points (50 goals) and 378 penalty minutes. He holds career records for games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes.
Morin, a Brooklyn Park, Minn, native, played in 175 career games with 89 points (21g, 68a) and had 197 penalty minutes.
Ring-Jarvi, from Anoka, Minn., played in 176 career games with 65 points (27g, 38a) and had 206 penalty minutes.
Fans will have a chance take home a piece of history on Saturday, as the Outlaws will auction one jersey signed by all three players. The silent auction will begin at $300 and go throughout the game.
Along with Mobley, Morin and Ring-Jarvi, the Outlaws are also expecting a number of other former players to be in attendance to see their former teammates receive the honor. Outlaws game-day promotions manager Karen Brudvig has spent much of the past month inviting former players and has received verbal commitments from many.