Decatur Youth Hockey Association Donates over $15,000 to American Cancer Society; Challenges Other USA Hockey Organizations to do the Same

By Ryan Huffer,

DYHA GameDECATUR – The Decatur Youth Hockey Association has donated the proceeds from their Alumni weekend to the American Cancer Society.

DYHA Board Member Mark Birch says all of the money was collected through several events put on during the Alumni weekend.

“The money came from ticket sales, a silent auction, chuck-a-puck and a 50/50 raffle,” Birch says. “It was a fun weekend and we are very excited we were able to raise so much money.”

Birch says they had items from NHL teams like the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks, and the chuck-a-puck alone brought in over $1,000. A total of $15,067 was raised and will go directly to cancer research through the American Cancer Society. Birch says they choose that group for a pretty good reason.

“It’s all for the prevention of cancer,” he says. “It’s a very important cause and I think everyone is touched by cancer one way or another – whether it’s a family member or close personal friend.”

Cancer hits pretty close to home for Birch, whose brother is currently battling cancer. He also lost his mother and mother-in-law from cancer, too. The alumni weekend’s theme was “Decatur Youth Hockey Fights Cancer,” and Birch hopes he can spread this idea to hockey programs throughout the country.

“My goal now is to throw down the challenge to other U.S.A. hockey organizations throughout the country,” Birch says. “I want to set up a National Youth Hockey Fights Cancer Night so more people can get involved.”

Birch hopes to schedule the event for the weekend after Thanksgiving. He believes other organizations can replicate Decatur’s event in collaborating with their local NHL teams in order to raise more money to fight cancer.

“We are a small community, but we are very giving,” says Birch. “Decatur always comes through in big ways and it never ceases to amaze me how we stand up and support good causes.”

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