Central Penn Panthers Bring Hockey Fights Cancer to the Local Level

Hockey Fights Cancer is a charitable initiative throughout the US and Canada spearheaded by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association dedicated to raising money and awareness toward cancer research. The Central Penn Panthers (CPP) took this initiative to their local level and during the November 10-12th EJEPL showcase in New Jersey as their 18U Diamond 2 team wore special Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys. The jerseys, along with other clothing were all purchased by the Central Penn Hockey Club players and their families in which the proceeds went to a fundraiser for Cana Booth. Cana, daughter of one of the CPP coaches and sister to two CPP players, has been courageously fighting her own brain cancer diagnosis.

Coach Raul Battista of the 18U Diamond 2 team shared some further insight about participating in this initiative and supporting the cause. “When the idea came around to get the jerseys, us coaches wanted to fully support it to help Cana fight this disease. Central Penn plays in a small rink out in Lancaster PA, and we are all a family here to support one another and help those in need. The message to our team is always to give back whenever you can to those who need it most. I personally wear wristbands to support people who battled and unfortunately lost their life to cancer, and hockey is always a huge platform to help support the families and individuals battling.” The coaches all knew the importance of wearing the jerseys as a team and showing their support for one of their own beyond the ice rink. The players were all fully onboard and felt that wearing the jerseys gave them the opportunity to showcase their support in their own way. Here are a few quotes from three players on the team as they shared their thoughts on wearing these jerseys:

"Wearing our Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys last week went beyond the game, bringing unity to the hockey community and the CPP family. These jerseys symbolized strong support bringing fans, layers, and staff together against the challenges of cancer while also helping Cana and her family." - Joey Mcrae #77

"Watching our team go out there wearing the jerseys was something special. We all understood why we wore them and the power of spreading the fight against cancer, it was truly special to watch everyone support Cana and her family." - Bennett Stauffer #17

"I like wearing the jerseys that mean something because we are showing support for Cana and her family. It's different than what most teams do." - Kyle Yates #16

The hockey community is a close-knit group who aim to support each other both on and off the ice. The Hockey Fights Cancer initiative is a great example of how teams, coaches, players, and their families can use their on-ice platform to support something bigger off-the-ice.

The CPP hockey club has participated in other fundraising efforts and continues to support the Booth family as Cana continues to courageously fight this battle. The EJEPL sends positive and healthy wishes to the Booth family as well as anyone else affected by cancer. For more information on Cana’s fundraiser, please follow this link: https://p2p.thecurestartsnow.org/1961.