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By Ryan Smith

MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

When a power play’s on, the Bulldogs hockey team is thinking pink ribbons.

That’s because for the fifth year running (or skating), the Meadville icers are making a commitment to help in the fight against breast cancer through their Power Play for Prevention fundraising campaign.

In the last four years, the Power Play campaign has raised $22,837 to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and this year the team’s goal is to raise at least $7,000 more.

“Everybody’s life has been touched by cancer in some way,” said defenseman Robert Macielak, who organized this year’s effort with goaltender Taylor Nickerson as a joint senior project. For that reason, he said, “it’s important to help out in the community, to help each other out and to come together as a family.”

“We’re very passionate about it,” said Nickerson, adding the impact of breast cancer hit home for him when a family member who received a late-stage diagnosis died from the disease last year.

“You always think it’s not going to happen” within your family, he said.

Raising general awareness about breast cancer is another important aspect of the campaign. Before tonight’s home game — the first of the season — Nickerson and Macielak will be in the Meadville Area Recreation Complex lobby to talk to fans about the campaign and how to get involved. They’ll be joined by breast cancer survivor Sue Kilburn, a clinical nurse and breast care educator at the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute whose story was recently featured in the Tribune.

All proceeds from the season-long fundraising effort are being presented directly to the Komen Foundation at the team’s spring banquet in April.

For more than 20 years, the foundation has been a global leader in the fight against breast cancer through its support of innovative research, outreach programs and education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the world.



Ryan Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at rsmith@meadvilletribune.com.





You can help

Tonight’s Meadville Bulldogs hockey home game marks the official kick-off of this year’s Power Play for Prevention fundraiser to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

To date, the effort has raised $22,837, and the team’s goal this year is to best last year’s mark by raising at least $7,000. All proceeds from the effort are being presented directly to the Koman Foundation at the team’s spring banquet in April.

Sponsors may contribute a set amount toward the campaign as a one-time tax-deductible donation or pledge to contribute a set amount — $1, $2, $3, $5 or $10, for instance — for each power play goal the team scores during the 2009-10 season.

For pledge forms and more information about the Power Play for Prevention campaign, visit the Meadville Area Recreation Complex for tonight’s game, or contact the team organizers: Robert Macielak at 337-0063 or by e-mail at macie@windstream.net; and Taylor Nickerson at 333-8875 or by e-mail at tgsnl@aol.com.



Did you know?

Women with family histories of cancer, especially involving first-degree relatives (mothers, sisters or daughters) with breast cancer have nearly double the risk of developing the disease.

Those with higher risk factors are urged by doctors and educators to do monthly self breast exams, get yearly check-ups with a physician and undergo yearly mammograms.

Even without a family history of cancer, women are urged to get yearly mammograms once they are 40.

Breast cancer is often first noticed when a lump is felt or something abnormal appears on a mammogram. These are not always cancer, but they need to be checked.

If the cancer is caught in its localized state (very small and not spreading) the survival rate is about 97 percent.

To learn more, visit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation at ww5.komen.org on the Web.

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