Two CMU Hockey players sell Puck Cancer t-shirts at a home game.
CMU Hockey players selling "Puck Cancer" t-shirts at a home game on Oct. 14 with proceeds benefiting St. Mary's Cancer Survivorship Program.


CMU Hockey Team’s first fundraiser to benefit local cancer survivor program

With just a few days left until the big event - Pink the Rink - the Colorado Mesa University Hockey Team is 40 percent of the way to attaining its fundraising goal of $10,000 for the St. Mary’s Cancer Survivorship Program, a local program designed to meet the non-medical needs of people living with cancer.

“What I like most about this fundraiser is the money raised will go to helping people here in Grand Junction,” said sophomore CMU Hockey Captain and Pink the Rink event planner Chase Engdahl. “I like that the money is not going to research but rather directly to local survivors.”

This fundraising event is the culmination of initiative, a productive partnership and proper timing.

Pink the Rink is a popular hockey fundraising event throughout the country, said Engdahl. He and Antonio Falcon, CMU hockey assistant captain, started researching how they could host a Pink the Rink fundraiser locally. One of the main obstacles they identified was finding the right title sponsor. Luckily for them, Randall Cupp, the market president for US Bank in Grand Junction, entered the picture and he had ties to the St. Mary’s Cancer Survivorship Program. The timing was perfect as the team wanted to host the event during the fall semester and October is breast cancer awareness month.

“The last few years were about developing the team and culture,” Engdahl said of the maturing hockey program. “Now we felt like it was time to invest our energy into a fundraiser and our community.”

Pink the Rink is Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7pm at the Glacier Ice Arena. There is a $5 donation/entrance fee to the game for everyone, including CMU students. The game will kick-off with a ceremonious pink puck drop honoring Margie Latta, a local two-time breast cancer survivor. “Puck cancer” T-shirts will be available for sale along with raffle tickets to win one of 21 specialty pink hockey jerseys, worn by the CMU hockey players the night of the event, with all proceeds benefiting the cancer survivorship program.

Raffle tickets are available at the University Center Information Desk, St. Mary’s Medical Center and online. In addition to the T-shirts and jerseys, the hockey team is working with Glacier Ice Arena to expand seating.

“We’re bringing in additional bleachers for this game to bring the capacity up to 1,100,” Engdahl said. “I think as long as we fill the seats at the game we’ll reach our goal of $10,000.”

Word of the Colorado Mesa hockey player’s determination to make this fundraising event successful is spreading. They have a conference call with Dick's Sporting Goods on November 5 about Dick's potentially sponsoring a military night fundraiser similar to Pink the Rink, said Engdahl.

There are also discussions of making the Pink the Rink an annual CMU hockey fundraiser but as of now Engdahl and his teammates are focusing on making the Oct. 27 event a success.

“This has been a great experience, a lot of work, but a great experience creating partnerships within our community and meeting all of the strong individuals. This fundraiser will help,” said Engdahl. 

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