‘Dropping the Gloves on Cancer’ hockey benefit big-time fund-raiser for Anoka

It was awesome. That is part of one of the projects we have in class that they can develop from start to finish. Flash drives and mugs sold out of school. This group took it out of the box and did the jersey thing.

Anoka girls’ hockey team poses before the game with the pink “Drop the Gloves on Cancer” jerseys to be auctioned off to raise money for the Susan G. Kohmen Minnesota Affiliate during the Jan. 19 game.Submitted photo
Anoka girls’ hockey team poses before the game with the pink “Drop the Gloves on Cancer” jerseys to be auctioned off to raise money for the Susan G. Kohmen Minnesota Affiliate during the Jan. 19 game.Submitted photo

Tony and Alecia: They were really happy with the designs they came up with and some of the hurdles they had to go through, not being able to wear the jerseys at the game. That’s part of the class, to see how they work through it.

Had a goal of $1500 which is way over what we talk about.

First question was did we set a record. Try to do this now is make this some form of an annual thing. I love helping the charities out and the mindset I like to have them do yearly. All depends on who is in the DECA group. Tony, Alecia and the group did awesome. I love starting something up that is new and would like to see it become a tradition.

Happy to work with people and something they have a pretty good handle on. So many different groups up here, tough not to step on toes. I have the kids ask about

Hockey community great to work with on those types of things too. Had them explain the project this morning in class. Present a check to MORP to Susan G. Kohmen at MORP Assembly, Feb. 1 at 7:40.

Anoka girls’ hockey had a little extra pep in its step Saturday afternoon by not only handing No. 7-ranked Andover a 2-1 loss, but by helping to raise awareness for breast cancer research through its “Dropping the Gloves on Cancer” fund-raiser.

The Tornadoes took part in the Susan G. Kohmen Minnesota Affiliate fund-raiser by auctioning specially-made pink jerseys which were used in pregame warm-ups, selling “Dropping the Gloves on Cancer” T-shirts at Anoka High School and at the rink and through small business sponsorships.

Anoka High School senior Tony Fritch, along with DECA teammates Alyssa Beckman, Aleasha Fiester, Logan Syvock and Drew MacFarlane helped organize the event, which raised in excess of $2,000, exceeding their goal of $1,500.

The group began organizing the event more than four months ago.

“We spent a lot of time designing the jerseys, made a lot of phone calls for sponsorship money,” Fritch said who, like several of his classmates, have lost family members to breast cancer, including his great-grandmother and grandmother while his aunt has survived. Fiester’s great-aunt lost her battle with breast cancer five years ago and she has participated in a cancer walk in her honor.

Standing out in pink

The T-shirts and jerseys were very popular around school.

“We hung the jerseys up in the locker room Thursday night and they wore them around school Friday,” Fritch said.

The jerseys used the Tornadoes script diagonally from left to right with a pink ribbon on the left upper chest. “All the girls loved the jerseys and were so happy to wear them,” Fritch said.

Fiester, who is part of the team, said not only were the players excited to wear the jerseys, the reaction from other students around school helped draw even more classmates to the rink.

“It was a great way to get the word out,” Fiester said.

They quickly sold out of the 61 T-shirts originally ordered. A second order is on its way at $15 a piece.

Fourteen event sponsors donated between $50 and $200 for a total amount of $1,475 raised, while 33 jerseys were auctioned between $40 to $125 for a final total of more than $2,000.

Fritch was most surprised by the level of generosity by those he asked for help, he said. “People were so quick to lay out their money for Susan G. Kohmen and it really turned out much better than we thought,” Fritch said.

Tornadoes coach Pete Hayes enjoyed the change. “I thought it was a really cool and great idea and it got the girls a little fired up to play for a cause.”

The team wore pink socks and tapped the sticks in pink but had to wear their official jerseys during the game because of a Minnesota State High School League rule.

The players had a different theme at school each day from a college jersey and an alternate Anoka jersey another day.

In addition to Saturday’s event the team raised more than 200 teddy bears from its annual teddy bear toss in early December in which fans bring a stuffed animal to the game and toss it on the ice after the first goal, no matter which team scores. All of the players collect the stuffed animals from the ice and the game resumes.


That generosity helped Fritch realize people want to help out others.

“I realized how a community like this can come together for something like this and it’s so easy for them to hand-off their hard-earned money for a good cause,” he said. “A lot of people commented to me and my dad about what a good thing my group did.”

Fritch hopes to hang an autographed picture somewhere in the arena, possibly inside the girls’ locker room.

The group worked with Hat Trick Hockey’s Steve Sacks to order and print the jerseys. “Not only did he give us the jerseys at cost, he went in on bids for six of the jerseys,” Fritch said.

Jason Olson is at [email protected]

  • mary fritch lund

    I am so proud of my nephew, tony (aka my godchild) it just shows what young adults can do to make a difference. They doubled the money they expected to raise and…he is man enough to wear PINK!!!!!!! Inside joke….but do you think the ‘I’ll pink horn has anything to do with this Tone??????? Love ya lots. Xoxoxo. Auntie Mar