Sunday, the Mississippi Sea Wolves faced off against the Columbus Cottonmouths, but this season, the Sea Wolves have also taken up a fight outside of the hockey rink with their Face Off Against Kids Cancer Campaign, a program that helps raise money for children with cancer.
The players have spent a lot of time with these children over the past few months--going to parties, dinners and meeting up after games. But, it was a bittersweet night, as the final dollars for the fundraiser were collected, and the children realize that this year's season is coming to a close.
People who turned out for Sunday's game received free admission with the purchase of one of these T-Shirts.
Francis Murray is a season ticket holder but he bought a shirt anyway. Francis Murray said, "I decided to buy the shirt because it's for a good cause, and I hope to help to help them out by buying it."
The $15 Murray paid for the shirt will go to local pediatric cancer charities that help out children like Brooklyn Fitzgerald. The fiesty 13-year-old has spent much of her youth battling brain cancer, but the activities she and her hockey partner, Travis Lisabeth, participated in this year have done a lot to lift her spirits.
"One of the things that I really like is that during Christmas, we went and saw a movie at the show, and he gave us a stuffed animal as a Christmas present. That was really nice," Fitzgerald said.
Spending time with her favorite hockey player has also been a helpful diversion from the chemotherapy and radiation treatments she's undergone.
"I try to do different things, just to keep my mind off of it so I won't be down," Fitzgerald said.
Face-Off Against Kids' Cancer started right here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Since then, 11 other ECHL teams have adopted the program.
"What we're also going to try to do is tag line, ECHL Faces Off Against Kids' Cancer. It's a wonderful program for the kids. We felt like there's 31 teams in the ECHL and if we can get them all to sponsor it, it would be great for pediatric cancer," said Bo McMurphy, General Manager of the Sea Wolves.
As this year's campaign wraps up, the SeaWolves know they've scored big for the team and for children who struggle with cancer.