Hockey fans and supporters of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital can head to Yost Ice Arena tonight for an exhibition game featuring National Hockey League stars and young NHL hopefuls playing to raise money for the Champions for Children campaign.
The game will feature the U.S. under-18 team against many NHL players, among them Red Wings Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Aaron Ward, Kris Draper, Derian Hatcher and Manny Legace.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. game, called the “Pro-Am Skate for Mott,” are $10 at the door, with all of the proceeds going to the campaign for a new children’s and women’s hospital.
“We are really honored to have such incredible hockey stars donate their time to help us,” said Krista Hopson, University Health System spokeswoman. As for the competition, event planner Tammi Carr said the under-18 team has a very good record and is ready to “give it everything they’ve got.”
The event originated when Dave Roberts, a Michigan hockey player from 1989 to 1993, realized that the locked-out NHL players had some extra time on their hands for charity events. The NHL is enduring an ongoing lockout due to a salary dispute between the players and the owners and the entire season will likely be cancelled. The owners say the league is losing too much money and drastic economic change is required, which the players are against.
“(Roberts) wanted to get his friends out on the ice again and to do it for a good cause,” Hopson said.
Roberts then talked to Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson, who gave Roberts the idea to have proceeds go to building a new children and women’s hospital. Berenson chose C.S. Mott after his twin grandchildren were treated at the hospital last summer because of their premature birth.
Ann Braun, a gift officer for the campaign, said Berenson’s recommendation “is a demonstration of how Mott has touched so many lives.”
The Champions for Children campaign raises money for a new children and women’s hospital in a response to Mott’s struggle to keep up with medical advances in technology, patient care and research. Mott was built in the 1950s and is full every night.
After choosing the campaign as the beneficiary, Roberts began to sign players to the game. Now retired, he skates with many of the locked-out NHL players at the Troy Sports Center.
“We have numerous people stepping up as champions and helping us raise the money we need,” Braun said.
After the game, autographed Red Wings jerseys and game jerseys will be auctioned off. There will also be a raffle for a seat on the players’ bench and the chance to get autographs.