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Pink Experience fundraiser events set for Nov. 5

October 29, 2011
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Marquette will be sporting a pink glow in one week.

The second edition of The Pink Experience is set for Nov. 5, with the Northern Michigan University Athletics and Recreational Sports Department and the Marquette General Foundation joining together on a fundraiser to benefit the Marquette General Cancer Center.

VAST of Marquette is the presenting sponsor while The Mining Journal, WLUC TV6/Fox UP and 100.3 FM The Point are media sponsors.

Article Photos

Northern Michigan University President Les Wong and the NMU women's
soccer team lead “The Pink Experience” walk at the Superior Dome in 2010 as part of last year’s
four-event series to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. (Journal file photo)

"Last year we partnered with Northern for the first time for The Pink Experience and it was a fabulous event," said Jim LaJoie, a fundraiser for the Marquette General Foundation. "We not only raised a considerable amount of money for needed equipment, we created awareness of breast cancer not only here but across the Upper Peninsula.

"It was a great partnership," LaJoie said. "And it's something we wanted to continue."

In 2010, The Pink Experience raised more than $15,000 toward the Marquette General Foundation's capital campaign for a new linear accelerator to improve care for cancer patients. Proceeds from the 2011 events at NMU will help enhance MGH's stereotactic breast biopsy technology which is essential in the early diagnosis and treatment.

Fact Box

Pink Experience:

- When: Saturday, Nov. 5

- Includes: 4 p.m. Vandament Arena, NMU women's volleyball vs. Findlay, tickets $7; and 7:30 p.m. Berry Events Center, NMU hockey vs. Notre Dame, tickets $15

- Special deal: Buy a pink ticket for $20 for admission to both events

- Etc.: Auction of both pink volleyball and pink hockey jerseys, with minimum bid of $100, silent auction of autographed pink volleyball and autographed pink hockey stick, 50/50 tickets, chuck-a-puck and much more

- For more information:

"First and foremost, we became involved because this is a cause that can make a difference in the lives of cancer patients here," said Chris Van Abel, one of the partners in VAST. "This state-of-the-art equipment will provide immediate results for patients and that's key.

"We were really thrilled and honored when we were asked to be part of this event. There is no way we could say no," Van Abel said. "Each and every one of us has been touched by cancer. (The Pink Experience) is a great way for us to be able to give back to the community. Our team in this office finds ways to help and when we brought this idea to them, every single one of them was on board."

In fact, all 30 VAST employees are volunteering for the event on Nov. 5, bringing another 30 of their family members in to help out.

"It has been great," Van Abel said. "We are having fun working with Northern and with Marquette General."

In addition to the game action, fans will be treated to other fun activities as part of The Pink Experience, including the auction of special pink jerseys.

"Last year the auction for the hockey jerseys got quite spirited," LaJoie said. "There can be some favorite players among the community and people will have fun bidding for those jerseys. It's a significant part of the event, so much so that we are also auctioning the women's volleyball jerseys this year as well."

Another special feature of The Pink Experience is the "pink ticket," a special $20 ducat that provides admission to both the NMU volleyball match against Findlay at 4 p.m. at Vandament Arena and the NMU hockey game versus Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets also can be purchased individually for either event, at a cost of $7 for the volleyball match and $15 for the hockey game.

In addition, there will be silent auctions for two autographed items: a pink volleyball and a pink hockey stick.

Also, at the hockey game, there will be a 50/50 drawing; pink terrible towel and wristband sales; and a chuck-a-puck event.

LaJoie said The Pink Experience is a good one all around.

"It's great because it encourages the quality athletes at Northern with crowd support and it supports those fighting this disease which affects many, many people," he said.

For more information, visit or call 225-6914.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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