For the past three years, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s hockey team has joined forces with Ministry Health Care to promote cancer awareness and raise funds to support programs for those seeking cancer treatments at Ministry Saint Michaels Hospital.
However this year’s “Put a Check to Cancer” event is more than a game for captain Jerry Freismuth and assistant captain Kyle Heck.
Freismuth, a senior from Grosse Point, Michigan will lead his team onto the ice seeking a Pointers victory while representing his aunt Lori who passed away a year ago after a courageous battle with breast cancer. For Heck, a junior from Plover, it’s the current fight of a close family friend that will provide inspiration for this special event.
Freismuth lost his aunt last season and his close-knit family saw first-hand the level of impact for cancer patients and survivors. “We were lucky to have a strong family support system for my Aunt and her family, said Freismuth. “Not every family can say that and anything we can do to support those fighting cancer is the least we can do.”
For Heck, the first hand experience with cancer diagnosis came just recently when the mother of a long-time family friend revealed she had breast cancer and was undergoing treatment in Stevens Point.
A year ago, this family showed support of Heck and the Pointers by purchasing one of the special “Put a Check to Cancer” game jersey’s that serve as the focal point of the fundraising effort of the event. Little did they know, a short time later they would begin to experience the harsh reality of a cancer diagnosis and its impact on their family.
“I am amazed at how strong she is and want to continue the support of our family to them,” said Heck. “There’s no doubt that I will have extra motivation for this game and we want to raise as much money as possible to help others in our community.”
The Fourth Annual “Put a Check to Cancer” Night will take place on Saturday, February 2nd, at 7 p.m. when UW-Stevens Point hosts the College of Saint Scholastica at K.B. Willett Ice Arena. The Pointers will wear special edition cancer awareness jerseys that will be raffled off as part of an in-game silent auction. All proceeds will benefit a new Breast Care Center Fund at the Saint Michael’s Foundation.
“We have been blessed with the support of UWSP men’s hockey and their loyal fans who have provided more than $12,000 to support local cancer patients over the past three years of this event,” said Angie Heuck, director, Saint Michael’s Foundation.
Heuck adds that breast cancer is personal and touches everyone in some way. “We are thrilled to be connected to this event by advocating for those affected by breast cancer and are proud to have a fund at Saint Michael’s Foundation that supports women and their families in our community who are on their own personal cancer journey. They are our inspiration, our hope and why we are developing a state-of-the art Breast Care Center,” said Heuck.
The Breast Care Center Fund at Saint Michael’s Foundation was established in September 2012 to provide support, advocacy and education for patients being served at the Breast Care Center at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital.
In addition, the first 1,000 fans will receive a commemorative pink rally towel, compliments of Team Schierl Companies.
Reserved seat tickets are $8; general admission tickets are $6. For ticket information, call the UW-Stevens Point Information and Ticket Office at 715.346.4100 or 800.838.3378 or visit the Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St.