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Hockey Fights Cancer Night a special event for Moose Jaw Warriors

Canadian Cancer Society fundraising evening sees host of special activities to help honour those affected
It was only fitting that the largest crowd to witness a Moose Jaw Warriors game at Mosaic Place since the start of the pandemic filled the stands on Hockey Fights Cancer Night.

Over 3,500 fans packed the arena for the contest on Saturday against the Regina Pats, with the event featuring a host of activities designed to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

And with how things turned out, it made all the hard work preparing for the evening more than worth it -- especially given the emotional impact for everyone involved.

“This event, a lot of work goes into it and our staff has worked so hard to make it come together, going back to July and August and a lot of planning,” said Warriors director of business operations Jaret Schneider. “It’s been a great night, we’ve had a lot of crowd support. When it’s a Regina game and Hockey Fights Cancer, you put the two together and you get one of the best nights of the year, so it’s been fantastic.”

The purple-mauve colour of the Canadian Cancer Society was the main theme of the night, figuring into the Warriors’ jerseys, the arena lighting and many of the events that took place.

Fans were able to purchase “I Fight For” placards that were displayed on the concourse during the game, a silent auction for the game-worn jerseys was held, a chuck-a-puck for a team-signed Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey took place in the second intermission and fans were able to sign the ice in honour of their loved ones after the game.

But outside the activities themselves, it was about honouring those lost to and affected by cancer -- including the Warriors themselves, with a pre-game video offering a chance for players and staff to talk about their experiences with the disease.

“That’s the thing about cancer,” Schneider said. “It’s not just one person, it’s not just one team, it’s everyone, it really is. It’s us, it’s the Pats, it’s the fans in the building, everyone is affected by cancer. So it’s nice to be able to put something together like that that touches everyone’s heart a little bit. It’s great to see it all come together and people enjoying it and supporting it.”

A major highlight was the Warriors jerseys themselves. In addition to their unique colour, the back of each sweater featured photos submitted by fans incorporated into the player numbers in a mosaic format, with the end result especially impressive.

“It was something we thought about this summer, it was ‘can we really do this?’ and it turned out so well,” Schneider said. “We had submissions from our entire fanbase and it turned out better than I thought it would, an inch-by-inch photo sublimated into a jersey. They turned out great and we couldn’t be happier.”

All told, the evening promised to raise thousands of dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society Saskatchewan division, something the team most certainly takes pride in.

“It’s hard to say exactly what the final number will turn out as, but it’s going to be a big night for them and us as well,” Schneider said. “With the success of our night and how things have gone, we really hope other teams are jumping on board and planning something similar to help out and we look forward to seeing what they do.”