College Hockey East has a new partner, and with it comes an initiative unlike any seen before in the 49-year history of the league. That partner is the Mario Lemieux Foundation, and together the two organizations are starting a campaign called "College Hockey Combats Cancer."
"The Mario Lemieux Foundation's biggest area of need is to connect to a younger generation of hockey fans who know that Mario Lemieux was a great hockey player but do not necessarily know his entire story, particularly his battle with cancer. Additionally, they want to reach beyond just the Pittsburgh area since that story is less-known outside of Western PA," said CHE Commissioner Dave Fryer.
"College Hockey East needed a means of getting our brand out to a wider audience of hockey fans, especially to showcase ourselves as the best college club league in the country and attract more athletes to our teams," Fryer continued. "Simply put, MLF had a wide reach but needed to reach more college students; CHE had college students but needed a wider reach. So that's a perfect synergy. As a result, we were able to come up with some great plans for College Hockey Combats Cancer."
Each CHE team will be donating $66 to the Mario Lemieux Foundation as part of the campaign, and all CHE players will be wearing a helmet sticker with the Mario Lemieux Foundation logo in support of the Foundation's ultimate goal: find a cure for cancer.
The College Hockey Combats Cancer campaign will begin immediately and run through the conclusion of the season. Each CHE team is going to pick one home game this season as their College Hockey Combats Cancer game, where each team is going to use its own creativity and resources to create a fun and special event for everyone involved. By heavily promoting and showcasing these events through social media, the Mario Lemieux Foundation, College Hockey East, and each of the CHE member schools expects to jointly reach over a million people.
Additionally, the Mario Lemieux Foundation, the CHE Commissioner's Office, and a few celebrity judges are going to name a "Best In Show" from each of the five divisions in the CHE. The creativity and originality used by each team to reach a wide audience are the primary criteria for determining the winners, thereby allowing each team to shape their own event using their own resources and unique ideas. Each winner will receive a Pittsburgh Penguins Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champions plate, each of which has been personally signed by Mario Lemieux in support of the College Hockey Combats Cancer campaign.
For more information about the Mario Lemieux Foundation, please visit www.MarioLemieux.org. And to support College Hockey Combats Cancer via the social media campaign, please follow the social media accounts listed below.