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Pink rinks, mullets and mustaches

by Kelly Donahue || AHL On The Beat Archive

The Manchester Monarchs, along with many other AHL teams, have joined in to aid in the fight against cancer.

Hockey Fights Cancer was founded in December 1998 when the National Hockey league and the National Hockey League Players’ Association paired up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Their mission was to raise awareness and donations both on and off the ice. Hockey Fights Cancer has been able to raise over $12 million to date, to help both national and local cancer research organizations and children’s hospitals.

The AHL has been making large strides in assisting with the fight against this all-too-common disease. Teams around the league have been holding "Pink in the Rink" themed games at their own arenas for a few years now. Teams such as the Charlotte Checkers, Norfolk Admirals, Providence Bruins, Syracuse Crunch and many others have been thinking pink and helping to raise funds to find a cure.

The Monarchs had huge success when hosting their own Pink In The Rink last January. The Monarchs Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Monarchs, held their inaugural "Pink in the Rink" night on Jan. 22, 2011, when Manchester hosted the Binghamton Senators. The Monarchs recorded their first sellout of the season during this game with 9,852 fans in attendance.

The Monarchs donated over $40,000 to organizations on the quest to cure breast cancer. Donations were made from ticket sales and silent and live auctions, and a portion of sales from the Monarchs Pro Shop that night benefited the Breast Care Center at Catholic Medical Center, Dartmouth Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the Monarchs Care Foundation.

The Monarchs will host their second annual Pink In The Rink night at the Verizon Wireless Arena when they play the Connecticut Whale at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 11, 2012.

This season, the Monarchs have magnified their focus to include raising awareness for men’s health, and specifically targeting prostate cancer by teaming up with the Dartmouth Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center and The Movember Foundation.

“We are proud of our efforts last season in raising awareness and funds in the fight against cancer with Pink in the Rink night,” said Monarchs president Darren Abbott. “This season we wanted to expand the scope to include awareness of cancers that affect men with Mullets in Movember. We are proud to have the opportunity to be a platform to spread the word and raise funds to help find a cure for such a deadly disease.”

Each November, the Monarchs players and coaching staff — along with others throughout the AHL and NHL — grow mustaches as a sign of support and to help raise awareness of men’s cancers. The Monarchs will be distributing 3,000 mullets, complete with matching mustaches, to fans in attendance to help show support for the cause at their Mullets in Movember game, on Nov. 19 (against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:00 p.m.).

The fight against cancer has never been stronger and the Monarchs are proud to be a part of such a tremendous cause past, present and in the future.