03/27/2014 2:24 PM
The Portland Pirates will host their 2nd annual Purple Night for Cancer Awareness presented by Central Maine Medical Center when they host the Providence Bruins Friday. The Pirates will be wearing special purple jerseys to help raise awareness for cancer research for their last home game against the Bruins this season.
“I think it’s a really good thing to do,” Pirates forward Tim Kennedy said about the event. “There’s a lot of people that have been hurt by that disease and are in the process of having treatment done and doing whatever they need to do to hopefully cure the disease. I think it’s a huge thing for our team to help out with in the community and just do what we can.”
“Cancer, it affects the lives of so many people,” Lucas Lessio said. “They’re affected individually or family members or friends are affected, everybody feels it somehow. For the night, such a great cause, it’s really great to give back to the community like that.”
This is the second game this year where the Pirates will wear special jerseys to raise cancer awareness, the first being for their annual Pink in the Rink night back in October against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
“We’ve done the breast cancer night, but the purple jersey night, cancer awareness night, is a pretty huge thing,” Brendan Shinnimin said. “Obviously, there are a lot of people that suffer from cancer.”
“I think it’s hard to find a person right now that’s not affected by cancer, whether it’s your immediate family or friends and family,” Kennedy said. “It’s tough but you just want to give them your support and your help and you just want to be there for them whenever you can.”
Shinnimin is just one of the many people who have seen the disease affect their lives as one of his family members was diagnosed with cancer recently.
“My dad was actually diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer, this past summer,” he said. “Fortunately, they were able to contain it, take it out and catch it in time. That was a tough time for me and my family.”
After having seen the disease at such a personal level, Shinnimin has decided to help out by donating to the Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“I’ve got a little thing going here where I’m going to donate ten dollars for every shot we get on net and 25 dollars for every goal we score,” he said. “We’re looking for some sponsors to maybe match my donation and hopefully this small thing can turn into something big, get a couple sponsors donating and make money to help change people’s lives.”
Shinnimin said that the money he raises will be used to help with cancer care, cancer research and help current cancer patients and survivors. His teammates are well aware at what he plans for the game and support him fully. Pirates sponsor On Target Utility Services will be matchin Shinnimin's donation amount.
“He’s such a great guy and he’s doing it for a great cause, it really shows how much he cares,” Lessio said. “When you have guys stepping up and doing stuff, making sacrifices like that, it really creates a good feeling in the room for the team.”
In addition to Shinnimin’s donations, the Pirates will be auctioning off the jerseys from Friday’s game on eBay, with a portion of the benefits going towards Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as donating the proceeds from the 50/50 raffle to support the center’s work in providing care for the region’s cancer patients.
A Pirates practice jersey signed by movie and television star Patrick Dempsey will be raffled off as well, with all proceeds benefitting the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing’s Maine Fund for Cancer Patients, which helps fund the immediate needs of patients experiencing hardships while undergoing cancer treatment.
Obviously, with a special event night, the team wants to win for the fans, but Shinnimin said once the game starts, they have to focus and not forget that there is still a game to play, especially against a team that is in the thick of a playoff race.
“We’ve got a playoff mentality to that game because that is what they’re going to have,” he said. “Guys are fighting for contracts, for call-ups, trying to get up at the end of the year if Phoenix makes the playoffs. We’ve got a lot to play for in our dressing room.”
Puck drop is set for 7 pm Friday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. Fans are encouraged to wear purple to the game and to get their tickets early. Tickets are available by calling the Androscoggin Bank Colisee Box Office at (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 or online at thecolisee.com.
The Pirates have announced eight guaranteed dates for the 2014-15 season as the Pirates return to the Cumberland County Civic Center! Group tickets are available for all eight of the announced dates and flex and season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now on sale! For more information on the guaranteed dates, click here and for more information on ticket plans, call 207-828-4665.