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Springfield Thunderbirds Raise $40,000 for Rays of Hope

May 22, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds announced a donation of $40,000 to the Rays of Hope thanks to proceeds from the live jersey auction during the T-Birds' 7th Annual Pink in the Rink game on March 9.

Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa and Vice President of Sales & Strategy Todd McDonald presented a check to the Rays of Hope earlier this spring inside the MassMutual Center. This year's Pink in the Rink game, as has become tradition, set new records for total funds generated, and the MassMutual Center came out in full force with a seventh straight "Pink" night sellout crowd of 6,793.

"We are so appreciative of our partnership with the Rays of Hope and equally overwhelmed by the support of our fanbase every year for Pink in the Rink," said Costa. "The visuals of this event elicit so much inspiration, and we are privileged to celebrate these brave fighters whose strength and perseverance are unmatched. We cannot wait for next year's event to break even more records, and furthermore, we long for the day a cure is discovered."

Established in T-Birds' inaugural season in 2016-17, "Pink in the Rink" celebrates the commencing of the Rays of Hope fundraising efforts each March to shine a light on breast cancer awareness outside of the traditional October awareness month. Every year, the fundraising efforts culminate in the annual Rays of Hope Walk & Run in October in downtown Springfield. Since the establishment of this staple night, the Thunderbirds have generated more than $140,000 for the Rays of Hope Foundation, all of which stays local in Western Massachusetts in pursuit of a cure.

"The generosity and enthusiasm of the Springfield Thunderbirds players, staff, and fans have made a significant impact on Rays of Hope's mission to support those affected by breast cancer here in Western Massachusetts," said Baystate Health Foundation Manager of Events Michelle Graci. "They are champions both on and off the ice and we are honored to be partnered with them. This year's Pink in the Rink was an incredible evening of hope and strength, and the compassion of our Thunderbirds family proved yet again that no one faces breast cancer alone."

Since its inception in 1994, Rays of Hope has raised over $17.2 million to support the women and men living in Western Massachusetts touched by breast cancer. Funds also support vital research at the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research.

"We are profoundly grateful to the Thunderbirds for their unwavering support and dedication to Rays of Hope," said 2024-25 Rays of Hope Co-Charis John and Sandy Maybury. "Their generosity and community spirit have made a significant impact in our fight against breast cancer. The funds they have helped raise will go a long way in supporting research, providing patient care, and raising awareness. As co-chairs of Rays of Hope, and on behalf of the countless individuals and families they have touched, we want to say thank you to the entire TBirds organization for skating alongside us in this crucial journey."

The T-Birds Foundation was established in 2018 with a mission of serving the Springfield community and the Pioneer Valley beyond every win and loss through a focus on providing and supporting initiatives in the areas of health and wellness, youth enrichment, and civil service. During the 2023-24 season, the T-Birds Foundation raised more than $128,000 for charitable causes in Western Massachusetts.

This year's Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer will be held on Sunday, October 27. For more information, visit Baystatehealth.org/Raysofhope or call 413-794-8001.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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