The world of hockey has never been a stranger to the fight against cancer in all its forms. For many players, at least one form of the disease has touched someone close to them, making the initiatives taken by teams from all leagues that much more sentimental and important in their nature. For the San Antonio Rampage, the fight against cancer has taken on a life of its own within the walls of the AT&T Center, and has expanded into the city of San Antonio.
PINK IN THE RINK
With the fourth annual Pink in the Rink game taking place last Friday, Jan. 31, the Rampage have raised over $152,000 and counting towards benefiting breast health awareness in their community.
Friday’s game against the Toronto Marlies registered a crowd of 15,251 – the third-largest attendance in franchise history. As is tradition with the Silver and Black, the ice was painted pink to match the special-themed jerseys and socks worn by the Rampage players themselves. This year’s game and post-game jersey auction raised $36,200 itself, while a week of community events helped raise awareness and support local survivors in their fight.
Pink Week included Rampage mascot T-Bone driving throughout the Alamo City to surprise area survivors either at their home or place of work with a gift bag full of pink-themed Rampage gear, as well as a player-hosted happy hour at Rosario’s Cantina, a pink-themed restaurant located near downtown San Antonio.
The biggest event, and perhaps the most impactful, was the Survivor Skate. With the full Rampage roster in tow, a hundred-plus survivors and their loved ones christened the AT&T Center ice as it was unveiled with its new pink tint last Tuesday, Jan. 28.
The Rampage are also newly invested in helping fight prostate cancer, hosting their first annual “Movember Night” on Nov. 22, taking a shootout win that night against the Oklahoma City Barons. The first 5,000 fans were given fake mustaches to help break the world record of most fake mustaches at a sporting event, and the team hosted a beard and mustache competition as judged by members of the Alamo Beard Club.
The players themselves dedicated the month to growing out different variations of beards and mustaches, encouraging fans to share photos of their efforts to help raise awareness for all forms of men’s cancers.
FACE OFF AGAINST KIDS CANCER
In its fifth year, the Face Off Against Kids Cancer program continues to be a highly successful and long-lasting program. The initiative pairs each member of the Rampage with a child being treated in the Centers for Oncology and Blood Disorders at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio for a series of social events and bonding throughout the season.
The team wore specialty jerseys during the Face Off Against Kids Cancer game on Nov. 9, their buddies in attendance to cheer them on to a 3-2 win over the Oklahoma City Barons. The jerseys were auctioned off post-game with a portion of the proceeds going to the Little Fighter Foundation and the Face Off program itself. Since its inception in 2009, the Rampage have raised more than $50,000 for the cause.