EVERETT — It’s not every day that you see grown male athletes dressed in head-to-toe pink uniforms, but for the Everett Silvertips it’s par for the course during their annual “Pink the Rink” hockey game, which raises money for Providence Regional Medical Center’s Comprehensive Breast Center.
The fourth annual “Pink the Rink” night is set for Saturday, Oct. 27, at Comcast Arena, where the Silvertips will face their rivals, the Seattle Thunderbirds.
“This will be our fourth year, and it’s been just explosive growth since we started,” said Travis Huntington, director of public relations for the Silvertips. “Our three year total is $130,000, but last year alone we raised more than $80,000.”
“Pink the Rink” began as a way to host one large fundraising event to benefit a local cause.
“As a team, we are always asked to support small fundraising efforts, but there were so many that we felt it would be more efficient to host one huge event and raise as much money as we could,” said Zoran Rajcic, Silvertips executive vice president. “The wife of one of our assistant coaches works at the Comprehensive Breast Center, and she told us about what they do and how many women they help, and it just kind of rolled from there. It gave us a focus on what we need to do and how many people we can help.”
Most of the funds raised during “Pink the Rink” come from donations by those who attend.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” said Huntington. “Most donations come from ticket sales, and every players’ pink jersey is auctioned off, along with “Pink the Rink” hockey sticks signed by the team, so that’s more funds raised. And of course, we have huge corporate sponsors who donate large amounts of money to the event.”
Last year, Safeway donated $50,000 to “Pink the Rink.”
“They are stepping up again this year, but we want to total donation to be a surprise,” said Rajcic. “We are so grateful to have them as a corporate sponsor.”
The Safeway Foundation partnered with other local businesses to raise awareness of the event, including Sound Harley in Smokey Point.
“We are going to sell pink pom-poms for $2 each and all the money will go straight to Providence,” said Kari Korsgren, marketing manager for Sound Harley. “We’ve worked with Safeway for the last two years to benefit prostate cancer, so this is our first year doing ‘Pink the Rink.’ It’s another way to help support the community.”
Sound Harley customers have the opportunity to use their smart phone to scan a special barcode to donate $4 of their ticket cost directly to Providence. The shop has also been promoting the event on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“A lot of our customers have dealt with breast cancer before,” said Korsgren. “We are just trying to stir up new areas where they can get support.”
The money raised at the event goes to the Providence General Foundation and is earmarked specifically for providing free mammograms to women in the area.
The result of the Silvertips’ fundraising efforts has had a real-life individual impact in the lives of women in Snohomish County.
“We’ve always worked directly with the hospital to keep the funds local,” said Huntington. “There have been a couple of cases where medical conditions were discovered during screenings that were paid for through ‘Pink the Rink.’ They may not have had those screenings otherwise.”
For more information on ‘Pink the Rink’ or to purchase tickets to the game visit the website at www.everettsilvertips.com.