Pink The Rink With The Hershey Bears

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Posted October 31, 2016

Captain Garrett Mitchell (Caps Outsider)

Last night at Giant Center there was a hockey game between the Hershey Bears and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, which the Bears won, 3-2. However, it was about more than a game. It was about a fight too many people have to fight. Mixed-Up Productions and the Bears held their annual Pink The Rink event to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness.

Everywhere you looked in Giant Center, you saw pink. Pink sunglasses, buttons, water bottles, t-shirts, pink lighting, and the jerseys the Bears wore during pregame warm ups. The jerseys were part of a silent auction with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the American Cancer Society.

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I caught up with breast cancer survivor, Wendy Wolpert, during the game. She was diagnosed with stage C3 breast cancer in 2014. After 12 rounds of chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, 30 radiation treatments and two additional surgeries, she is now a 15-month survivor. She went on to explain that he sister was diagnosed in May of 2016 with stage 1 breast cancer, so the gene runs in her family.

“It was a very long, hard fought battle, but those birthdays are very special now,” Wolpert said.

She also expressed her gratitude to the Bears and their support in the fight against breast cancer. Wendy participated in the ceremonial puck drop before last year’s Pink the Rink game.

“(For the Bears) to do a jersey auction to raise money for the American Cancer Society, it’s chilling, it just gives you the shivers”.

Cole Wolpert, Wendy’s husband, added that process was “rough.” He described how he took a step back and let her make every decision and “supported her regardless of what happened.”

“The grief hits for the first couple of days, then the entire family turns around and it’s nothing but support, which drove up Wendy’s spirits. The family pushed her through.”

This disease affects the entire family. The process, the treatments, and the unknown are all factors that play into why it is so important we keep up the fight against breast cancer.

When asked about the Bears involvement with the event, Cole’s response was “We bleed chocolate and white.”

“Before Wendy was diagnosed, we didn’t know much about everything the Bears did as a organization for different charities, they support everything out there”.

Cole and Wendy Wolpert

Cole and Wendy Wolpert — Breast Cancer Survivor

He also gave special recognition to Bears VP of Hockey Operations Bryan Helmer. “We have a new VP of Hockey Operations that makes it their mission not only to putting a winning team on the ice, but to support the community”.

Bryan Helmer added his own thoughts on the organizations involvement in the event.

“The people behind the scenes and volunteers did an incredible job to put on the event. It’s great to be a part of it”.

He also added, “Anything we can do to help the community is what we are here for. Whatever we can do to give back (the players, coaching staff) everyone wants to give back.”

The work that the Bears do for the community is often overshadowed by what they do on the ice. It is important to note that it is not always about hockey in Hershey. A lot of the time, these efforts go unseen by the public. It is important to highlight the accomplishments of this club off the ice, as well as on.

Pink the Rink Event Photos:

Bears Wear Pink Jerseys for Warm Ups