The following is a press release from Be The Match® and the Knights of the Forum group on Facebook.
LOS ANGELES — A charity hockey game benefitting Be The Match®, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping blood cancer and other patients get the life-saving bone marrow or cord blood transplants they desperately need, will be held at 3:00 PM on Sunday, August 16, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
The game will also feature a silent auction in which fans can bid on autographed hockey memorabilia from Kings alumni, including Stu Grimson, Ziggy Palffy and Dustin Penner, along with former National Hockey League star Lanny McDonald, an honored member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Other former NHL players are also expected to be involved with this game, and will be announced at a later date.
Leaders of the Knights of the Forum indicated that they are sponsoring this game because of the tremendous need for bone marrow matches, not to mention the funds needed to support the work of Be The Match.
“There hasn’t been enough awareness of the need for bone marrow matching,” said Mike Gonzalez, lead administrator for the Knights of the Forum. “We want to inspire people to get swabbed [to collect DNA for matching purposes so that it can be registered in the national database], and shine a brighter light on the great need for more people to get swabbed and registered.”
“There are 12.5 million people in the registry,” added Gonzalez. “But there are so many patients who can’t find a match, so the need remains critical.”
Equally critical is the need to raise money to fund the work of Be The Match.
“To process a swab kit, it costs $100.00,” said Steve Raboin, whose son, Tanner, suffered from a rare blood disease, Chronic Granulomatous Disease, and was waiting for a bone marrow match when he died in 2011. “That includes the lab tests to put all that information in the DNA registry, so it’s just as important, if not more important, to get donations to help pay for the processing of the swab kits.”
“It costs $100.00 every time someone registers and gets swabbed,” Gonzalez noted. “It’s a lot of money, but once a match is found, it’s an amazing thing. It saves a life, so we just have to get more and more people into the registry.”
Raboin will help staff a booth at the game where fans can learn about Be The Match, get swabbed, and make donations.
“We have to get the message out that, whether it’s donating to Be The Match, or getting swabbed, it’s all desperately needed,” Raboin stressed. “There are so many people who can’t find a match because the numbers just aren’t there.”
Organizers emphasized that everyone is welcome at this event, not just Kings fans.
“This is about hockey and hockey fans, not just Kings fans,” Gonzalez stressed. “Let’s welcome [Anaheim] Ducks fans, or people who root for the [Boston] Bruins or the [Calgary] Flames—anybody. It doesn’t matter, because when we take our jerseys off, we’re hockey fans and human beings, above all else.”
Organizers indicated that tickets are going fast, but that limited seating is still available. Tickets are priced at $15.00 (along the glass), $10.00 (general seating) and $5.00 (standing).
The Toyota Sports Center, the practice facility of the Kings, is located at 555 North Nash Street, El Segundo, California, 90245 (see map below).
For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.kotfcharitygame.com.
Toyota Sports Center via Google Maps
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