Naperville North Senior, Jake Novack lost his mother to cancer only a few weeks ago. For one night, the hockey player got to face-off against the disease responsible for one of every four deaths in the United States.
At the 11th Annual District 203/204 Shootout For Cancer hockey game, Novack hit the ice with players from each of the district’s club hockey teams, helping raise money for the cause.
“It helps other families with cancer research that have to deal with what I went through,” said Novack.
Novack and his father were chosen to place the first lights in the Luminaria Ceremony, a time to honor loved ones who have heard the words, “You have cancer.”
Teachers also helped raise money and awareness by participating the in the 203 vs. 204 Shoot the Puck competition. Also hitting the ice, were members of the Tomahawks Hockey Club, a program for athletes of all ages with developmental disabilities.
Since its inception ten years ago, the event has raised over $200,000 to help fund the fight against cancer.
100% of the proceeds go to the DuPage Chapter of the American Cancer Society to help fund cancer research at Illinois medical centers and to provide support services for cancer patients living in the community.
For many participants and fans, the event hits close to home.
“It has been in my family for a long time so I know people who have survived it and people who have lost their battles but its really tough to know when they lose it, but its good to know our money can help research so that people stop losing the battle,” said Shannon Smith, a forward for Neuqua Valley’s club hockey team, the Naper Valley Warriors.
“A number of hockey moms that I’ve known throughout the years some have survived cancer and some have not so it does hit pretty close to home,” said Lisa Haugen.
District 204 took home the trophy, beating District 203 28-25.
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