Augusta RiverHawks to help raise awareness of breast cancer

It might be hard to look tough in pink, but the Augusta River­Hawks are determined to pull it off tonight for a good cause.

The hockey team will sport special pink jerseys to help raise awareness about breast cancer. Some of the proceeds will benefit The Lydia Project, which helps women battling all forms of cancer.

Doctors Hospital, the team’s sports medicine provider, is joining with the River­Hawks to sponsor the event, said Lydia CEO Mi­chele Canchola.

The hospital is “very familiar with what we’re doing,” she said. “And the RiverHawks were all over it.”

Just because they’re clad in pink, don’t expect the players to be genteel, said RiverHawks assistant general manager Ken Vezina. His experience with similar promotions with other teams tells him to expect the opposite.

“There’s been some pretty rough games on ‘Pink the Rink’ night,” he said, laughing. “It’s almost like they’re overcompensating.”

The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off afterward, so some of that pink might be mixed with a little red.

“The guys take them right off their backs and give them to the fans, so they’re dirty and sweaty and smelly and, if there happens to be a dust-up, there could be some blood on there, too,” Vezina said.

Proceeds will go to Ly­dia’s emergency relief services, which helps women with cancer meet pressing needs such as paying rent or power bills, and to construction of the Daksha Chudgar Lydia House respite for
women with cancer, Canchola said.

Having charitable events and honoring special groups in the community, such as salutes to the military, is part of what the RiverHawks want to do in Augusta, Vezina said.

“When we started as an organization, we said we wanted to be part of the community,” he said. “We wanted to not just have people come up to watch our games but actually make a difference here.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT: “Pink The Rink” Augusta RiverHawks promotion with Doctors Hospital to raise awareness about and help fight breast cancer

WHEN: 7:35 tonight

WHERE: James Brown Arena

COST: Tickets $10-14, with a special jersey auction after the game. Part of the proceeds benefit The Lydia Project.

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