With October’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” initiative over and November’s “Movember” campaign underway, the Devils have proven that they are willing and able participants in charitable causes.
Last month’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” campaign, a league-wide cause (which has been in effect for over ten years) that helps raise money for cancer programs and awareness, was well-received by the Devils and their fans. The Devils honored children who were battling the disease at The Rock prior to their game last weekend against the Chicago Blackhawks and wore their lavender “Hockey Fights Cancer” warmup jerseys before the game as well. The jerseys are being auctioned off to benefit the Newark Beth Israel Foundation and the Valerie Fund.
Of course, one of the coolest things they did for “Hockey Fights Cancer” was the “signing” to a contract of young Santino Anatasia, who is battling Leukemia. He signed a real NHL players’ contract in Ray Shero’s office at Prudential Center (he was most impressed by the number of televisions in the room) and was a team member for a day.
Santino, his brother and parents got to hang out with the team during their morning skate, get autographs and even had his own Devils jersey made for him. His mother, speaking to Deb Placey of MSG Network, said that watching hockey is therapeutic for him and brings him joy. The Devils were able to give him an experience that he will remember forever.
Another way the Devils participated in “Hockey Fights Cancer” was more player-based on social media. If you happened to see my Twitter feed over the last few days, you will see retweets from Kyle Palmieri, Keith Kinkaid, PA Parenteau and Adam Henrique. These players tweeted photos of themselves with “I Fight For” signs with names written on them and the hashtag #OneJerseyOneFight. For each retweet that these tweets got, each player would donate one dollar to “Hockey Fights Cancer.” As I write this post, Palmieri had about 5.8 thousand retweets, Kinkaid had 3.9 thousand, Parenteau had 4.1 thousand and Henrique had 14,000. Not a bad chunk of money that the four players will be collectively giving to the “Hockey Fights Cancer” program!
Speaking of Adam Henrique, November is known as “Movember” as celebrities, athletes and ordinary people grow mustaches to help support men’s health causes. Henrique has been active in this cause since last year, when he grew a mustache to show his support and started his personal campaign at the Movember Foundation.
This season, he is making available “Mo Bro 14” baseball caps with a logo of a mustache with Devils’ tails at the tips. Limited quantities of the hat will be available at the Devils Den Team Store at the Prudential Center for $29.99 with all proceeds going to the Movember Foundation. Henrique also has a personal fundraising campaign where you can donate and be entered to win an autographed photo. The link to his fundraising campaign is http://mobro.co/adamhenrique. This year, on just the second day of Movember, Adam has raised $500. Since 2015, he has raised a total of $4,045 in his personal campaign.
All of the Devils have gotten in on the charitable causes and most of them have their own foundations and ways to personally give back. In a time when pro athletes do not always get the best of press, it is nice to see players being a force for good in society. Hopefully, the Devils can continue to do things like this to bring important causes to the front and center.