Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program will host St. Lawrence in its home-opening series this weekend at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Both Friday and Saturday night's contests begin at 7:07 p.m. (ET).
Friday night's home opener is free to all FSU students with a valid student ID card. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will help aid an important cause by holding the school's first "Pink In The Rink" game presented by General Mills-Yoplait on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs will don pink jerseys for Saturday's game to help raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. Proceeds from the event will go to the local Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer & Wellness fund. The game is being made possible thru the generous support of General Mills-Yoplait, which will be the exclusive sponsor for the contest.
"This will be a tremendous opportunity for us to help a very important cause," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. "We're happy to play a role in an event like this that gives back to a community that has been so supportive of Bulldog Hockey over the years."
As part of the "Pink In The Rink" game, all cancer survivors will receive complimentary admission compliments of General Mills-Yoplait. All fans are encouraged to wear pink and special pink tshirts will be sold at the game while supplies last.
In addition, various silent auction items will be available in the concourse with all proceeds from jersey sales, pink tshirt sales and auction items donated to the foundation. Susan P. Wheatlake, for whom the center is named, will represent all cancer survivors and be introduced on skates during team introductions prior to the contest.
"We appreciate the chance to give back to the community in an event like this that supports such a worthwhile cause," said FSU Associate Athletics Director Jon Coles. "This disease affects so many people around the world and this is an opportunity for us to play an active role in helping fight cancer. We thank General Mills-Yoplait for helping make this evening possible."
General Mills, which operates Yoplait in Reed City, has been a key sponsor of Ferris State Athletics' community engagement efforts over the last five years. Since 1997, Yoplait has donated more than $34 million to help fight cancer across the United States through the Save Lids to Save Lives program, Race for the Cure and other initiatives.
"This is a great opportunity for General Mills-Yoplait in Reed City to partner with Ferris State Athletics to support an incredible cause in our fight to find a cure for cancer," said General Mills-Yoplait Plant Manager Jon Woodworth. "Breast cancer statistics continue to be staggering. One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and for the United States in 2013, more than 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. It is our honor to partner with FSU in donating all proceeds to this event locally to the Susan P. Wheatlake services as our community races for the cure."
The "Pink In The Rink" game will be part of the Bulldogs' first weekend of home action during the 2013-14 campaign. The two-game set represents the Bulldogs' lone non-league action in Big Rapids of the season.
Saturday's game will take place during the annual "Paint Big Rapids Pink" effort, a month-long community event that benefits the Wheatlake Fund and recognizes Breast Health Awareness Month.
"Paint Big Rapids Pink focuses on breast health awareness though a series of fun activities and events," said local community activist and organizer Lynne Scheible. "We understand that this is a serious topic. Cancer affects all of us. We try to reduce the anxiety and apprehension that so many people feel when they hear the word, cancer, and provide a safe harbor for everyone to learn more about the disease.
"We appreciate FSU Athletics for organizing Pink in the Rink," she added. "This event is a great opportunity to help area residents learn about the importance of early detection and those actions that they can take to reduce breast cancer risks. Our activities also draw attention to the Wheatlake Center and the free services and activities that it provides for residents of our community."
The Susan P. Wheatlake Women's Cancer and Wellness Fund is an endowment managed by the Mecosta County Medical Center Foundation. The fund supports the volunteer-staffed Wheatlake Center, which provides a wide range of emotional, medical, physical and financial support services and resources to those impacted by cancer in the Big Rapids area.
"It's going to be a fun and exciting game," said founder and cancer survivor Susan P. Wheatlake. "I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the fast action. Pink jerseys plus a great hockey team supporting the Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Services will be a caring combination helping those on their cancer journey."
Tickets for all FSU home contests this season are currently on sale and can be bought online at StarTickets.com or purchased in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office. The ticket office will be open inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) along with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. (ET).
Fans can save and avoid potential lines by purchasing in advance. Additionally, the ticket office will open on Saturday at 12 p.m. (ET). For more information, visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888.
Prior to this weekend's first home action of the season, the Bulldogs will visit Mercyhurst on Tuesday (Oct. 15) night for a 7:05 p.m. (ET) non-league tilt in Erie, Pa.