Rochester Ice Hawks Play for Cause Close to Home

Posted at: 10/18/2013 10:55 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC News) -- It's breast cancer awareness month and those at the Rochester Ice Hawks game Friday got the message loud and clear. It took about 10 hours to "Pink the Rink" at the Recreation Center in Rochester for breast cancer awareness. Our team has been out there this week covering the preparations, but Friday was more than just a big game. Our team caught up with the players ahead of time to see what this event means to them.

The players prepped as they would for any game, but this time with some pink. "Jerseys, the laces, the tape..." listed off Ice Hawks Player Timothy Lafleur.

They weren't shy to sport a more feminine color for breast cancer and for some of them, this event hits close to home. "This is really important to me, my aunt Diane, who has been my godmother and everything, actually just went into remission with her breast cancer," said Lafleur.

"My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer my sophomore year of high school. It was tough for me not knowing if she was going to make it or not. She pulled through, and I’m glad to have her here today still," said Ice Hawks player Brandon Vitale.

"My grandma actually died of breast cancer. I think it was 2 years ago, so it hit home pretty hard. It was a tough loss," said Ice Hawks Player Nick Paulson.

Though Friday’s event can't erase the past, it's a big step forward for those who are still fighting. "It's nice to see that people actually do support it, whether you see it or not," said Paulson.

"The more support the better because no one knows how tough it is until you actually go through it," said Lafleur. Support poured into the bleachers Friday, a reminder of how many families are affected by this. "Everyone knows someone and this is pretty serious," said Lafleur.

While the local cancer group “Join the Journey” kept busy taking donations, the Hawks put it all out there on the ice for the one's they love. "I want to put my best foot forward and show everyone that I really care about this cause," said Lafleur.

"It’s going to a great cause and hopefully we're one step closer to finding a cure," said Vitale.

If you want to donate to Join the Journey, we've posted a link to their page on our website under the links tab.