Wolves Keeping Busy Raising Cancer Awareness And The Importance Of Blood Donations

The Chicago Wolves are keeping themselves quite busy this month out in the community and they're looking for help from their fans.

This weekend you can help the team raise awareness about cancer, while also helping the team raise funds for cancer research. The cause is especially important to right wing Darren Haydar. His fiancee, Sara Schuster, a McHenry native, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2008. Schuster, 27, will drop a ceremonial first puck before tomorrow night's game. She has been cancer free since April 2009.

Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday nights, fans will have the chance to help the Wolves in their quest to raise funds and awareness of cancer. Each night, the players will wear special "Fight Against Cancer" jerseys. The jerseys, as well as a one-of-a-kind goalie mask created specifically for the weekend, will be available in a silent auction and raffle during games. Proceeds will benefit Little Heroes Pedatric Cancer Foundation, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Chicago Wolves Charities and other cancer related causes.

Haydar will wear a different jersey at each of the games this weekend, one for the auction, one for an auction at chicagowolves.com and one for the raffle. Jerseys worn by forwards Riley Holzappel and Jamie Hunt, and Assistant Coach Ron Wilson will also be available in the raffle.

But the Wolves are doing even more. Schuster is not the only one dropping a ceremonial puck this weekend.

Two other special guests of the Wolves will also drop ceremonial first pucks. Avi Ashwer, a 15-year-old Buffalo Grove native and neuroblastoma survivor, will drop Saturday's ceremonial first puck, while five-year-old Skokie native and leukemia patient, Griffin Maks will drop the puck before Sunday's game.

Also this weekend the Wolves will host a "Hospital List Drive." Fans will be able to donate toys, games, arts, crafts and books for hospitalized children. The Wolves are asking that all donated items be new to ensure safety for children with compromised immune systems. Beneficiaries of these items include Children's Memorial Hospital and Corner Children's Hospital, among other local hospitals. Each fan who donates an item will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $50 merchandise credit to chicagowolvesstore.com.

On Tuesday, the Wolves will team up with LifeSource for the second Chicago Wolves Blood Drive. It will be held at the Wovles' practice facility inside the Triphahn Center on Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The first 150 donors will recieve a Chicago Wolves hat. Donors will also have a change to tour the Wolves practice facility and win prizes including game tickets, Wildfire Restaurant gift certificates and a team autographed jersey and hockey stick. Akim Aliu, Riley Holzapfel, Arturs Kulda and Mark Matheson will join Skates to meet donors and sign autographs.

On Wednesday, the Wolves will host their first beer tasting fundraiser at the Ram Restaurant and Brewery, 700 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Wheeling 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Noah Welch, Jared Ross, Jaime Sifers, Peter Mannino, Jamie Hunt, Boris Valabik and Nigel Dawes will join fans for a night of beer samples, heavy appetizers and a tour of the brewery. A silent auction will also be held. Fans must be 21 in order to attend this event.

More information on all the events can be found on the Wolves website.

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