Record crowd helps Chops go “pink in the rink”

A crowd of 10,475 fans, the most ever to see an AHL game in Des Moines, packed Wells Fargo Arena on Friday night for the Iowa Chops’ second annual Pink in the Rink Night.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Breast Cancer Care Coordinator program at John Stoddard Cancer Center.

Everything that can be pink was pink in the arena. Besides playing on pink ice, the Iowa Chops players wore special jerseys, which became available for purchase via live auction immediately following the game. There was also a special pink lighting ceremony during the game to celebrate the lives of thousands of cancer survivors, as well as the lives of those lost to cancer. Even the arena went pink, with pink lights outside to reflect the excitement and energy of the night.

Chops fans were invited to show their support for cancer research and this event in several ways. During home games leading up to Friday, fans were invited to make donations of spare change in jars designated to each Chops rookie. Matt Caruana, Adrian Veideman and Matt Beleskey dyed their hair pink for the game, and contributions made to the winning jar will be matched by the Chops veteran players.

Fans were also able to purchase a Pink in the Rink T-shirt to wear for the evening, and proceeds from T-shirt sales as well as crowd participation games, such as Pitch-a-Pig, will be part of the overall donation.

Last year’s inaugural Pink in the Rink event generated over $25,000 for the Stoddard Care Coordinator program.