Every winter with her car loaded with pink scarves, pucks, t-shirts, hoodies and related paraphernalia, Kathy Wynters drives to hockey rinks all over New England to promote Skating Strides, the breast cancer awareness and fundraising campaign she founded in 2006.
Kathy, the associate commissioner of Hockey East, has engaged women’s hockey programs at all the conference’s member institutions, including Boston College, Boston University, University of Connecticut, University of Maine, Merrimack College, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University, Providence College and University of Vermont. In recent years, the men’s hockey teams have also begun to participate, including the University of Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Lowell and the University of Notre Dame. Through Skating Strides, these student athletes have an opportunity to give back to their communities and raise awareness about breast cancer.
“Kathy inspires the teams to get really creative,” says nominator Pauline Alighieri, executive director of the Friends of Mel Foundation. “Players wear pink game jerseys and pink skate laces, use pink hockey sticks…even the referees wear pink-striped jerseys. At two schools, the ice was colored pink!”
To date, Skating Strides has contributed nearly $300,000 to breast cancer organizations throughout New England through the Friends of Mel Foundation, including the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Maine, the Gloria Gemma Foundation in Rhode Island, the Vermont Cancer Center, Necessities Bag and the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center in Connecticut, the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer, the Ellie Fund and the Art of Living Life Beyond Cancer Conference in Massachusetts.
Story told by Jordan Rich of The Jordan Rich Show on WBZ NewsRadio 1030. Visit www.theonehundred.org to learn more and meet the rest of our honorees.