The Stanley Cup will be making a trip to Spartan Stadium for Michigan State's football game on Saturday, Sept. 20. Fans will have an opportunity for photos with the world's most famous trophy, and at the same time make a difference in the fight against children's cancer.
The Cup will be on display in a tent in the northwest corner outside of Spartan Stadium from 1-3 p.m. in advance of the 3:30 p.m. kickoff against Notre Dame. For a $5 donation, fans can take a picture with the trophy. Each dollar collected will go to Cure Kids Cancer at Sparrow Hospital, the beneficiary of Michigan State's "Shoot for a Cure" initiative - a program spearheaded by Justin Abdelkader, former MSU hockey player and current member of the Detroit Red Wings organization.
"Shoot for a Cure" was started by Abdelkader during the 2007-08 season, Abdelkader's junior campaign. He and classmate Dan Sturges were inspired by the children at Sparrow Hospital where they frequently visited as part of the Spartan Buddies program. As a result, the pair began this community service initiative which benefits Sparrow's Cure Kids Cancer. Last year, more than $5,000 was raised with a Chuck-a-Puck promotion at home hockey games and through a silent auction.
Abdelkader opted to forego his senior season of eligibility and sign with the Red Wings on April 8, 2008 and was on the Red Wings' active roster as the team made its run to the Stanley Cup championship. Abdelkader is unable to be in East Lansing for the Cup's visit, as he will be in Traverse City for the Red Wings' preseason camp.
"I would like to thank the Red Wings organization for allowing us to use the Cup to help us raise money and awareness in the fight against children's cancer," noted Abdelkader, who was the recipient of the CCHA's Ilitch Humanitarian Award last season. "I am very happy that this is a program that will continue on past my time here at Michigan State. I'm also excited that other teams have stepped in to help with this important cause. The football program - in particular, captains Javon Ringer and Otis Wiley - has been really supportive and stepped up in a big way."
The Cup will make an appearance on the field during the first quarter of the football game against the Irish. The Shoot for a Cure initiative will also continue through the 2008-09 season at home hockey games. Game-by-game prizes will include autographed items donated by former Spartans now playing pro hockey.
Fans are reminded to bring their own cameras for photos and are asked to adhere to the limit of one photo per donation. All money collected will go directly to Cure Kids Cancer.
Photo: Abdelkader (on the left, with fellow Detroit rookie Jonathan Ericsson) in the Red Wings' victory parade this past June. Photo by Matt Mackinder/MiCHO