By Connor McPherson
There are many scandals that take place in sports, and there are countless frauds that plague many charities; but Fitchburg State University showed that sports and charities could come together to do something great.
Sports have always been a big part of people’s lives and they have the ability to bring a community together for a good cause. Last February, the Fitchburg State University men’s ice hockey team had a game with pink ice and pink jerseys that was held with the sole purpose of raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. All the proceeds went directly to the foundation.
“The whole community really came together for this game,” head ice hockey coach Dean Fuller said. “We had many local businesses, community members, authority figures, cancer survivors, and students who all supported this game.” Fuller also stated that, “After it was all said and done we ended up raising well over $10,000 that all went towards breast cancer research and funding, and so much credit goes towards the players for all the fundraising they did throughout the community. I have never seen the Wallace Civic Center so packed, there were close to 2,000 people at the game who were all there to support breast cancer and the Falcons. We definitely plan to have another game in February 2017, and we are looking very forward to it and plan to raise even more money.”
Cameron Snyder, who is a senior this season and also the team’s captain for the second year in a row, said, “The atmosphere was electrifying. I organized booths to be set up all around campus with players running them with the sole purpose of raising money for breast cancer which has taken the lives of many people. All of the students were so excited that we were having a game to raise money to fight cancer, that they practically threw donations at us.” Snyder also stated that, “There was a buzz going around campus about this game, it seemed like everybody was telling their friends, which brought more people to us to buy tickets, and all the money earned from the tickets was donated.” Snyder even talked about how, “My professors were all very excited about the game too and all of them bought tickets, it was really nice to see the whole school come together, because this was a game with a much deeper meaning, and many people had personal ties to someone that either had cancer or was currently battling it.” Snyder said, “The feeling of bringing a community together for a great cause was very fulfilling and gave me such a sense of purpose.” Snyder also reminisced about how, “It was so exciting to play in this game and I had so much adrenaline that I could have played all night. I couldn’t even hear myself think because it was so loud from all of the people in the stands screaming their heads off and it also helped that we won the game.”
This game also really hit home with one of the Falcons’ own players, Nathaniel Rojas. Senior forward Rojas’s mother is a breast cancer survivor and he experienced firsthand all of the hardships that she went through. Rojas said, as his brown eyes started to water, “This is the greatest day of my life because I got to finally give something so big to my mom, which is so important to me, because she is my rock, and I felt so helpless while she was going through her treatments because I felt there was nothing I could do to help.” Rojas also said, “Scoring a goal for her in this game was the icing on the cake to such a great experience, and I could see her crying in the stands with a big smile on her face, which immediately caused me to bawl my eyes out.” Rojas stated that, “My mother was in so much pain during her treatments, but she was so strong and battled through it, but being by her side during her time with cancer showed me what kind of toll it takes on someone, and I would never wish that upon my worst enemy.”
In a world that is plagued by so much negativity, the Falcons showed that you can soar above it and bring a community together to raise awareness and money for breast cancer, which has affected so many lives.
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